Moderna Therapeutics

Clinical Scale Expansion Project

Moderna Therapeutics, a Cambridge-based biotech company, is working to develop innovative mRNA drug technology that is transforming the way previously untreatable diseases are being treated, including cancer, auto-immune diseases, and several viruses. Moderna’s technologies were so promising, they needed to quickly select and build out a cGMP clinical manufacturing facility to enable and manage the rapid scale-up of their clinical studies. That’s when they brought in Wise. The nearly 300,000 SF building they chose previously housed a Polaroid plant, and was recently demo-ed by the landlord. They needed the entire facility built out to house mRNA clinical manufacturing, plasmid manufacturing, Personalized Vaccine Units (PVU) manufacturing, pre-clinical labs, quality control (QC) labs, development labs, warehouse/logistics and maintenance, and plant utilities, as well as all necessary office, amenity, and administration areas. On top of that, Moderna needed the facility to be up-and-running in just 33 weeks of construction - three-to-four times faster than a typical construction project of this size and scope! To achieve this, planning was of the upmost importance. The entire project team worked closely together to create early release packages to ensure all project milestones were met, and all long-lead items were purchased early on. Before fully mobilizing onsite, extensive existing condition surveys were performed, and all MEP’s were planned early on using a point cloud system. When it came to construction, Wise created a well-scheduled workflow for the project. The entire floorplan was broken down into sectors, and each sector was carefully planned to allow multiple subcontractors to work at once. All vendors on the project were required to prefabricate components in their shops, such as ductwork runs, piping racks, electrical devices, shaft risers, and plumbing rough. This lean approach helps benefit the project by creating a need for less workers onsite, less waste, better quality control, and faster installation time.