The award of up to US$ 1.525 billion is for the manufacturing and delivery of 100 million doses of mRNA-1273 including incentive payments for timely delivery of the product. With the previous award of up to US$ 955 million from BARDA for the development of mRNA-1273 to licensure, the announcement brings the US government commitments for early access to mRNA-1273 to up to US$ 2.48 billion.
Under the terms of the agreement, the US 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 US 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 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.”
“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.”
Over the past nine years, Moderna has invested in creating and developing a novel platform for designing and manufacturing a new class of mRNA-based vaccines. The investments in this proprietary platform have enabled Moderna to expeditiously create, manufacture, and clinically develop mRNA-1273 to potentially address the current COVID-19 pandemic. mRNA-1273 is an mRNA vaccine against COVID-19 encoding for a prefusion stabilized form of the Spikes protein, which was co-developed by Moderna and investigators from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Vaccine Research Center.
A summary of the company’s work to date on COVID-19 can be found here.
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