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When the EU’s Covid-19 Vaccine Drive Stumbled, It Turned to Mr. Fixit

April 28, 2021
> Wall Street Journal: When the EU’s Covid-19 Vaccine Drive Stumbled, It Turned to Mr. Fixit

Wall Street Journal Article Excerpt – April 28, 2021

When the EU’s Covid-19 Vaccine Drive Stumbled, It Turned to Mr. Fixit

By Nick Kostov in Chenôve, France and Daniel Michaels in Brussels


 

The European Commissioner Thierry Breton visits CordenPharma Chenôve one Easter 2021.

When the EU’s Covid-19 Vaccine Drive Stumbled, It Turned to Mr. Fixit

Wall Street Journal Article Excerpt – April 28, 2021

Mr. Breton, by that point, had moved on to helping ensure future production can run more smoothly. That is why at Easter, with most of France observing the holiday or under lockdown, he traveled by train to Dijon to visit a factory making ingredients for Moderna and other pharmaceutical companies.

The plant, owned by Luxembourg-based CordenPharma GmbH, has increased production several hundredfold over recent months and now employs five teams running nonstop.

Arriving on the sunny Sunday morning, Mr. Breton greeted workers like a general reviewing troops. “It’s thanks to women and men like you that we will win this fight,” he exhorted them.

Mr. Breton greeted workers like a general reviewing troops. “It’s thanks to women and men like you that we will win this fight,” he exhorted them.

Inside, CEO Michael Quirmbach explained his rising output and the limits he faces, including a need to send some ingredients to foreign plants—including in the U.S.—for purification. A €30 million investment, equivalent to $36.3 million, would let the plant handle the task and increase production, while another €30 million investment would allow the company to fill vials and finish packaging for more than 100 million extra vaccine doses annually at a plant in Italy, he said.

Mr. Breton told his chief of staff to note the amounts, which the EU could help fund. “This is something very important for us,” he said.

 

Read the Full Wall Street Journal Article Here