A. Armonaitė invited the US biotechnology company Moderna to establish itself in Lithuania


2022 05 09


Aušrinė Armonaitė, Minister of Economy and Innovation, on her visit to the USA met with Dr Robert Langer, one of the founders and a member of the Board the US biotechnology company Moderna, that has developed a vaccine against COVID-19, and offered him to consider the opportunities of investment and development in Lithuania.

‘Attractive business environment, effective private-public partnerships, top-level professionals - these are the main factors which allow ensuring the business climate in our country that is attractive to world-class players. Despite the uncertainties caused by the pandemic, the annual growth of global business service centres in Lithuania is about 14%, and they currently employ more than 23,000 of people. The life sciences sector is also growing steadily. For this reason, we can see excellent opportunities for the company Moderna to develop its activities in Lithuania’, - says A. Armonaitė, Minister of Economy and Innovation.

According to the Minister, the biotechnology companies, that already operate in Lithuania, their contribution to the global sector of life sciences and to production of vaccines, and high qualification of the scientists of our country allow for reasonable pride of the achievements in this area.

The start-up CasZyme, established in 2017 by Professor Virginijus Šikšnis, who has developed the technology for DNA editing, is one of such examples. Its main activities are gene editing research services for foreign researchers and companies. Soon, the US company DowDuPont, one of the largest in the world chemical industry giants, has become a strategic investor and partner for this start-up. This cooperation allows for expanding the supply of available gene editing tools for researchers working in various fields.

Also, in 2014, the first and only biotechnology company in Lithuania Froceth, which manufactures advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) individually tailored to each patient, was established. Advanced therapy medicinal products, which include tissue engineering, cell and gene therapy, is one of the most innovative fields in the life sciences sector, on which the attention of the whole world is focused. In Lithuania, this cell therapy is applied in case of oncology and multiple sclerosis, and for tissue regeneration.

Last year, the Lithuanian manufacturer of medical and scientific equipment Thermo Fisher Scientific Baltics, which is operated by the US company Thermo Fisher Scientific, has opened in Vilnius a new manufacture building with the value of 40 million EUR. This development contributed significantly to the efforts to manage the global COVID-19 pandemic: new production capacity allowed Thermo Fisher to more efficiently supply the manufacturers of coronavirus vaccines with necessary reagents.

In February this year, Moderna announced of its plans to expand its commercial activities in Belgium, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden. At the present, Moderna has subsidiaries in Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Dr Robert Langer, one of the founders and a member of the Board of Moderna, has founded a total of about 40 different companies, and his patents were licensed by more than 250 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and medical device companies. He is the youngest scientist in the US history who, at the age of 43, was elected to three American academies of science - the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Medicine.