A listed specialty chemicals giant has been awarded a grant of £15.9m to significantly increase production capacity of key vaccine ingredients at its facility in Staffordshire.

The UK Government funding will allow Croda International to increase both the range and volume of specialty lipids, particularly the mRNA lipid used in a number of Covid vaccines, as well as creating a number of jobs at the site.

Croda will also invest £15.9m in the expansion.

Daniele Piergentili, president of Croda Life Sciences, said: "We are grateful to the UK Government for its support for this important project. It shares our belief that lipid systems offer significant potential for the safe and efficient delivery of next generation vaccines and therapeutic drugs.

"This investment will meaningfully enhance our lipid system capability and manufacturing capacity, ensuring that Croda plays a central role in both the development and future supply of this important delivery technology."

From 2023, the expanded facility is expected to be able to produce a sufficient volume of lipids for about three billion vaccine doses, an estimate based on the volume of lipids required to produce existing Covid-19 vaccines.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: "The development of mRNA technology has been one of the greatest scientific leaps forward since the start of the pandemic and the potential for its use in future therapies – potentially treating cancer and heart disease – is remarkable.

"I am therefore extremely pleased to announce this support for Croda, a market leader in the manufacture of essential mRNA components, and the only manufacturer of lipids currently operating in the UK.

"Not only will this funding provide a significant boost to Britain's life sciences industry, enabling the production of an extra three billion vaccine doses domestically, but it also represents an important investment into the West Midlands' economy as we work to onshore manufacturing to the UK."

Original article and image from Insider Media