Drugs Medical Pharma

China’s Everest starts first phase operations to make mRNA vaccines

Covid-19 China Everest

HQ Team

December 28, 2022: Everest Medicines, a Chinese biopharmaceutical company, announced the start of operations in the first phase at a global manufacturing site to make an mRNA vaccine to tame the Covid-19 virus.

The vaccine production has begun at Jiashan, Zhejiang province, and the company has successfully carried out trial production runs, according to a company statement.

The first phase of the project, covering 58,000 square meters and with an investment of more than RMB 900 million ($129 million), has a set of advanced production facilities built to meet global and China GMP standards. It has an annual production capacity of 700 million doses of mRNA vaccines.

The vaccine uses a molecule called messenger RNA (mRNA) rather than part of an actual bacteria or virus. Messenger RNA is a type of RNA that is necessary for protein production.

Once cells finish making a protein, they quickly break down the mRNA and mRNA from vaccines does not enter the nucleus and does not alter the DNA.


People who get an mRNA vaccine are not exposed to the virus, nor can they become infected with the virus by the vaccine. By using this mRNA, cells can produce the viral protein. 

As part of a normal immune response, the immune system recognises that the protein is foreign and produces specialised proteins called antibodies. Antibodies help protect the body against infection by identifying individual viruses or other pathogens.

Once produced, antibodies remain in the body, even after the body has rid itself of the pathogen, so the immune system can quickly respond if exposed again. 

Suppose a person is exposed to a virus after receiving an mRNA vaccination. In that case, antibodies can quickly recognise it, attach to it, and mark it for destruction before it can cause serious illness.

‘Raging globally’

” The Covid-19 pandemic is still raging globally, and the evolving variants bring significant challenges. We are actively advancing the development of mRNA Covid-19 vaccines to protect people’s health better and support China’s national public policy,” said Rogers Yongqing Luo, Chief Executive Officer of Everest Medicines.

“The startup of our mRNA vaccine factory is a key step in our strategic goal of having a complete industrial value chain of research, clinical development, manufacturing and commercialisation. We will continue to develop our clinically-validated mRNA technology platform across a wide range of diseases, such as infectious diseases and cancer, while preparing for commercialisation and accelerating our path to becoming a fully-integrated biopharmaceutical company.” 

In September 2021, Everest Medicines reached a cooperation agreement with Providence Therapeutics Holdings Inc. to advance mRNA vaccines and therapies.

Since then, Everest has made significant progress, including industrial-scale technology transfer of its mRNA platform.

Analytical testing

It has also made progress in localised processing, analytical testing, and direct procurement with raw material suppliers, enabling the company to develop and produce mRNA vaccines and innovative drugs independently. 

Approximately 16 billion vaccine doses, worth $141 billion, were supplied in 2021, almost three times the 2019 market volume (5.8 billion) and nearly three-and-a-half times the 2019 market value (US$ 38 billion). 

Although manufacturing capacity worldwide has increased, it remains highly concentrated. Ten manufacturers alone provide 70% of vaccine doses (excluding Covid-19), according to the WHO. 

Everest is also developing an Omicron-based bivalent booster candidate, EVER-COVID19-M1.2, and plans to initiate clinical trials in China and other Everest territories next year. 

In addition, it will also develop other preventive and therapeutic vaccines against important infectious diseases and cancers by utilising the technology platform. According to the statement, its mRNA rabies vaccine program has achieved preclinical proof-of-concept. 

The company has built a portfolio of promising clinical-stage drug candidates across oncology, immunology, cardio-renal disease and infectious disease. It provides its products and services in Greater China and other emerging Asia Pacific markets.

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