Moderna in talks to supply countries with COVID-19 vaccine; US$32-$37 a dose for smaller deals

Moderna in talks to supply countries with COVID-19 vaccine; US$32-$37 a dose for smaller deals

A nurse prepares a shot as the world's biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine gets underway
A nurse prepares a shot as the world's biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna, gets underway on Jul 27, 2020, in Binghamton, New York. (Photo: AP/Hans Pennink)

MASSACHUSETTS: Moderna is in talks with several countries for supply agreements for its experimental coronavirus vaccine, the company said on Wednesday (Aug 5), adding that it had already received about US$400 million in deposits for potential supply.

The company's vaccine candidate is one of the few to be in the final stages of testing as drug-makers race to develop a safe and effective vaccine against the pandemic that has claimed more than 700,000 lives worldwide.

Moderna said on Wednesday smaller volume agreements for its experimental COVID-19 vaccine candidate have been executed between US$32 and US$37 a dose.

"We will be responsible on price well below value during the pandemic," CEO Stephane Bancel said on a conference call, adding that larger volume agreements under discussion will be at a lower price.

Last week, Moderna announced the start of a late-stage trial on 30,000 people to demonstrate that its vaccine was safe and effective, the final hurdle prior to regulatory approval. It has said the vaccine could be ready for widespread use by the end of this year.

The company, which ended the quarter with US$3.1 billion in cash, cash equivalents and investments, said it was on track to complete enrolment in the study in September.

Moderna said last month it plans to price its coronavirus vaccine in a way that ensures broad access and that it did not intend to conduct late-stage trials of the vaccine outside the United States.

"As we pivot to a commercial stage company, we recognise the need for responsible pricing in the face of the pandemic," Bancel said in a statement.

The company, which has no drug on the market, has received nearly US$1 billion from the US government under a plan to speed up vaccine development.

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Source: Reuters/dv

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