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US pays $1.5bn for 100 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine

Latest deal is part of Operation Warp Speed

Moderna has reached an agreement with the US government for an initial 100 million doses of its vaccine candidate mRNA-1273, in the latest deal made as part of Operation Warp Speed.

The US will pay up to $1.525bn for the manufacturing and delivery of 100 million doses of the vaccine candidate, which includes incentive payments for ‘timely’ delivery of the vaccines.

The US, under its Operation Warp Speed initiative, will also have the option to purchase up to an additional 400 million doses of mRNA-1273 from Moderna. The latest funding follows a previous cash injection from the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) totalling $955m.

Moderna has been at the forefront of the race to find an effective COVID-19 vaccine since it administered its candidate to the first patient  in March.

The candidate, mRNA-1273, reached clinical testing stage in record time, taking only 63 days after Moderna received the genetic code of the virus. The candidate is also on track to complete the final stage of clinical testing in September, after the vaccine demonstrated promise in an early-stage study.

An interim analysis of a phase 1 study of mRNA-1273 showed that the vaccine produced rapid and strong immune responses against SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19.

Following two doses of the vaccine, neutralising antibody levels among participants were similar to those seen in individuals who had tested positive and recovered from COVID-19. Moderna has now completed phase 2 study enrolment, with a phase 3 study having also begun on 27 July and enrolment expected to complete in September.

“We appreciate the confidence of the US government in our mRNA vaccine platform and the continued support,” said Stéphane Bancel, Moderna's chief executive officer.

“We are advancing the clinical development of mRNA-1273 with the ongoing phase 3 study being conducted in collaboration with NIAID and BARDA. In parallel, we are scaling up our manufacturing capability with our strategic partners, Lonza, Catalent and Rovi, to address this global health emergency with a safe and effective vaccine,” he added.

The US has already secured doses from a host of drugmakers currently developing COVID-19 vaccines, including Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer/BioNTech, Sanofi/GlaxoSmithKline and Novavax.

These deals were made as part of Operation Warp Speed, a US government initiative aiming to deliver 300 million doses of a safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine by January 2021.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

12th August 2020

From: Sales

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