Story at a glance
- Vaccine frontrunner Moderna has secured deals with multiple governments to supply vaccine doses.
- The treatment is in late-stage human trials and won’t apply for emergency use authorization until late November at the earliest.
Pharmaceutical company Moderna is aiming to distribute its COVID-19 vaccine globally, reportedly already accepting $1.1 billion in deposits from governments around the world looking to secure doses of the vaccine, CNBC reports.
The firm revealed this in its third quarter earnings report, saying that it has been engaging in negotiations with the World Health Organization (WHO) and its vaccine distribution cohort COVAX. Moderna and the agency are working on a tiered pricing proposal for the drug, called mRNA-1273, to help it be distributed equitably throughout the world.
Moderna has already secured supply agreements with North America, the Middle East and other regions.
“We are actively preparing for the launch of mRNA-1273 and we have signed a number of supply agreements with governments around the world,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a press release. “Moderna is committed to the highest data quality standards and rigorous scientific research as we continue to work with regulators to advance mRNA-1273.”
The vaccine candidate is made up of messenger RNA, which may help the body launch an immune reaction when it detects the virus.
Moderna has been one of the frontrunners in the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. The drug manufacturer has been receiving funding from the White House as part of the Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed plan.
MRNA-1273 is in the final stage three clinical trials. As of last week, CNBC notes that more than 25,650 volunteers had received the second dose of the company’s drug.
In August, the company reportedly said that it would charge somewhere between $32 and $37 per dose for mRNA-1273 for some customers to make it affordable.
When the vaccine would be widely available was not mentioned. Public health officials like Anthony Fauci have repeatedly said that a vaccine won’t be widely available until mid-2021, but that data showcasing an effective and safe vaccine will be ready in December.
Earlier in October, Bancel confirmed that the Moderna vaccine will be ready to be widely distributed around the late first quarter to the early second quarter of 2021.
He also noted that the company would not file for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Approval until Nov. 25 at the earliest.