Moderna to charge $32 to $37 a dose for its COVID vaccine

Moderna will charge between $32 and $37 a dose for its experimental coronavirus vaccine for some "low volume" customers, the company's CEO said Wednesday

The company will be using a tiered pricing system, and will charge less for higher volume orders. The company considers a small order to be "in the millions" of doses, CEO Stéphane Bancel said on a conference call to discuss the company's quarterly earnings.

Bancel said the company will be charging “well below value” during the pandemic, but will follow market pricing once the virus is under control and considered endemic.

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"We’ll work with the market,” Bancel said, adding that the company is working with governments around the world and others "to ensure a vaccine is accessible regardless of ability to pay."

“At Moderna, like many experts, we believe the virus is not going away, and there will be a need to vaccinate people or give them a boost for many years to come,” Bancel said.

Moderna, a Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech company, is one of a handful of companies the Trump administration has contracted with through Operation Warp Speed.

Last week, the company began a phase three trial of 30,000 people to test the safety and effectiveness of its vaccine, which is being developed jointly with the National Institutes of Health.

The price point is considerably higher than the $19.50 per dose price negotiated by Pfizer and German biotech BioNTech, which was criticized by drug pricing advocates as being too high.

Unlike Moderna, which has received nearly $1 billion in government funding for the development of a vaccine, the Pfizer deal is only for the doses and distribution. 

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The U.S. government will be guaranteed 100 million doses for $1.95 billion only if the vaccine is successful.  Moderna recently confirmed to Axios that federal money makes up 100 percent of the funding for its COVID-19 vaccine program.

During a congressional hearing last month, executives from Pfizer and Moderna would not commit to price their vaccines at-cost.

Moderna reported a massive revenue growth in the second quarter, mainly due to its contract with the government to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. The company reported $66 million in total revenue as of June 30, compared to $13 million at the same time last year.