U.S. government reached a $1.5 billion deal with Moderna for 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine
Last month, we wrote about Moderna after the biotech giant announced it has begun the final-stage testing of its coronavirus vaccine. Moderna said its mRNA vaccine could be ready for use by the end of 2020.
Today, the company received the good news from the U.S. Federal government. President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that the U.S. government has reached a deal to purchase 100 million doses of Moderna’s experimental coronavirus coronavirus mRNA vaccine, which is currently in late-stage human trials. President Trump made the announcement during a daily press conference at the White House.
“We are investing in the development and manufacture of the top six vaccine candidates to ensure rapid delivery. The military is ready to go, they’re ready to deliver a vaccine to Americans as soon as one is fully approved by the FDA and we’re very close to that approval,” President Trump said.
In a separate announcement, Moderna said the deal for its mRNA vaccine vaccine is worth $1.525 billion. Under the terms of the agreement, the U.S. government, as a part of Operation Warp Speed, will also have the option to purchase up to an additional 400 million doses of mRNA-1273 from Moderna.
The U.S. government has announced that consistent with its commitment to free access to COVID-19 vaccines, Americans will receive mRNA-1273 at no cost for the vaccine itself. As is customary with government-purchased vaccines, healthcare professionals could charge for the cost of administering the vaccine. So far, the U.S. has already invested $955 million to develop Moderna’s vaccine, bringing its total investment up to $2.48 billion, the company said in a press release Tuesday.
Under the terms of the agreement, the U.S. government, as a part of Operation Warp Speed, will also have the option to purchase up to an additional 400 million doses of mRNA-1273 from Moderna. The U.S. government has announced that consistent with its commitment to free access to COVID-19 vaccines, Americans will receive mRNA-1273 at no cost for the vaccine itself. As is customary with government-purchased vaccines, healthcare professionals could charge for the cost of administering the vaccine.
“We appreciate the confidence of the U.S. 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.”
Moderna is currentyly working closely with BARDA and the NIH, including NIAID’s COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN), to conduct the Phase 3 COVE study under the auspices of Operation Warp Speed. The vaccine efficacy trial is the first to be implemented under Operation Warp Speed, a multi-agency collaboration led by HHS that aims to accelerate the development, manufacturing and distribution of medical countermeasures for COVID-19.
“For Operation Warp Speed, we are assembling a broad portfolio of vaccines to increase the odds that we will have at least one safe, effective vaccine as soon as the end of this year,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “With this latest investment, we will have supported the vaccine candidate developed by Moderna in partnership with the NIH all the way from early development through clinical trials and now manufacturing, with the potential to bring millions of safe and effective doses to the American people.”
So far, Modernaa remains on track to be able to deliver approximately 500 million doses per year, and possibly up to 1 billion doses per year, beginning in 2021 because of the Company’s internal U.S. manufacturing capabilities and strategic collaboration with Lonza, Ltd.