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Moderna will double Norwood plant’s size, says Mass. workforce has grown to 1,400

The Cambridge biotech plans to increase production of its COVID-19 vaccine by 50%

An electronic billboard along Route 128 in Norwood advertises open jobs at Moderna.
An electronic billboard along Route 128 in Norwood advertises open jobs at Moderna.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Moderna will more than double its 300,000-square-foot production and lab facility in Norwood, allowing it to increase production of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine by 50 percent at the facility.

The biotech, headquartered in Cambridge’s Kendall Square, said Tuesday that it will renovate its existing space and purchase a 240,000-square-foot building on the same campus, expanding its footprint to about 650,000 square feet.

The expansion comes as Moderna rapidly adds to its workforce in Massachusetts. A spokesperson said the company has about 1,400 full-time employees here, up nearly 65 percent from last year. That puts the company among the 10 largest biotech employers in the state, according to MassBio’s annual industry report.

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Moderna declined to provide its job-growth projection for the end of the year, but it has hiring advertisements inside MBTA stations and on an electronic billboard along Route 128 in Norwood. A spokesperson said it is exploring additional lab and office space.

The company expects the Norwood expansion to allow it to increase preclinical production for research and development, while expanding the shelf-life stability of its drugs and experimenting with new ways to deliver medicines. The Norwood facility, called the Moderna Technology Center, opened in 2018.

“Our manufacturing facility has been core to our long-term strategy and has enabled us to provide the scale and flexibility to support the development of our mRNA medicines and vaccines including our COVID-19 vaccine,” said Stéphane Bancel, Moderna’s chief executive, in a press release.

Moderna plans to ramp up vaccine production by late this year and early 2022. Last week, the company said it would increase its global supply to 3 billion doses next year, depending on the mix of its authorized vaccine and “potentially lower doses of the company’s variant booster candidates and pediatric vaccines.”




Anissa Gardizy can be reached at anissa.gardizy@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @anissagardizy8.