TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan will be a major center for the development of flu vaccines and mRNA technologies, said American pharmaceutical and biotech company Moderna on Tuesday (Dec. 6).
Moderna announced the establishment of a subsidiary in Taiwan in September, following similar ventures in Japan, South Korea, and Australia last year. It has yet to reveal its investment plans in Taiwan or respond to questions about whether the country will become a base for contract manufacture of the vaccines it develops.
Joyce Lee (李宜真), general manager of Moderna Taiwan, said at a press event that Taiwan is the only country in Asia that will be involved in Moderna’s clinical trials for influenza vaccines. The initiative has enrolled in eight local medical institutions, with preliminary data expected to be released in March, wrote Liberty Times.
The company will also be devoted to addressing other respiratory illnesses, including RSV, a virus that causes cold-like symptoms but can be serious for elderly people and infants.
Lee said Taiwan boasts a rich pool of biotech talent including clinical scientists. A focus will be placed on importing the latest mRNA technologies into the country as a hiring drive is soon to be launched, per CNA.
Moderna shipped 807 million doses of its COVID vaccine worldwide in 2021 alone. It is currently working on 48 projects and 45 candidate drugs, according to Lee.