President Trump Announces A $1.5 billion Deal with Moderna For 100 Million Doses of Coronavirus Vaccine  

by Swarajya Staff - Aug 12, 2020 12:07 PM +05:30 IST
President Trump Announces A $1.5 billion Deal with Moderna For 100 Million Doses of Coronavirus Vaccine  Where are we with a coronavirus vaccine?

U.S President Donald Trump on Tuesday (Aug 11) announced that his administration has signed a $1.5 billion deal to purchase 100 million doses of Moderna’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine which is currently in late-stage human trials, CNBC reported.

“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,” Trump said during a press conference at the White House.

In a separate statement, Moderna said the deal for its vaccine, mRNA-1273, is worth $1.53 billion and will give the federal government the option to purchase up to 400 million additional doses.

Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine is in late-stage human trials, which will test its efficacy and safety in 30,000 people. The Massachusetts-based company previously said it could expect results as early as October.

Moderna recently received another round of funding from the US government for $472 million, taking Moderna's total government funding to just under $1 billion.

Moderna has promised to deliver approximately 500 million doses per year, and possibly up to 1 billion doses per year, beginning in 2021. The company has internal U.S. manufacturing capabilities and strategic collaboration with Lonza, Ltd.

Moderna uses a proprietary mRNA platform for vaccine developemnt. mRNA relies on the body’s own cells to produce viral proteins. Once injected into the body, the RNA slips into human cells and tells them to make virus-like proteins, in this case the “spike" protein on the surface of the coronavirus. If the vaccine works, those proteins then trigger the body to generate protective antibodies.

The U.S. government’s deal with Moderna follows similar agreements it’s made with pharmaceutical giants Pfizer.

In July, Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE announced that they have signed a $1.95 billion agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Defense Department to secure hundreds of millions of doses of a Covid-19 vaccine which Americans would receive for free

Under the deal, the U.S. government would receive 100 million doses of BNT162, the Covid-19 vaccine candidate jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, and can acquire up to 500 million additional doses.

On Jul 20, -BioNTech SE and Pfizer Inc. announced encouraging initial data from their Phase I/II clinical trial of Covid-19 vaccine candidate, BNT162b1, being conducted in Germany. The open-label, non-randomised, non-placebo-controlled, dose-escalation trial is part of the companies’ global mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccine programme.

BNT162b1 is a lipid nanoparticle formulated, nucleoside-modified messenger RNA encoding a SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) antigen.

HHS also struck a deal with Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline for up to $2.1 billion to develop and deliver 100 million doses of their potential coronavirus vaccine with the option to acquire an additional 500 million doses.

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