Contract drug manufacturer Catalent Inc. is expanding its U.S. production of the Covid-19 vaccine from Moderna Inc., a development that could ensure the U.S. has ample supply as it ramps up vaccinations.
Catalent has reached an agreement with Moderna that will increase the speed of vaccine output at the contract manufacturer’s Bloomington, Ind., plant this month to about 400 vials a minute, according to people familiar with the matter.
Catalent will shift manufacturing of the shot to one faster production line from two slower ones. New doses will be ready for shipping starting next month, the people said, and the upgraded plant will be able fill an additional 80 million vials a year.
The expansion will help Moderna reach its goal of supplying an additional 100 million doses to the U.S. by the end of May and another 100 million doses by the end of July.
Production in the U.S. of several authorized vaccines has picked up speed in recent weeks, as manufacturers have scaled up production lines and taken other steps to increase output.