Moderna says it’s preparing global launch of Covid vaccine as it takes in $1.1 billion in deposits

Moderna says it’s preparing global launch of Covid vaccine as it takes in $1.1 billion in deposits

Moderna is prepping for the global launch of its potential coronavirus vaccine, already taking in $1.1 billion in deposits from governments awaiting the potentially lifesaving drug, the biotech firm said Thursday in its third-quarter earnings report.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company said it was in ongoing talks with the World Health Organization-backed COVAX initiative on a tiered pricing proposal for its potential vaccine, which it’s tentatively calling mRNA-1273. It already has supply agreements in North America, the Middle East and in other regions of the world.

“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 Stephane 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.”

Shares of Moderna were up more than 3% in midmorning trading.

Moderna, a front-runner in the Covid-19 vaccine race, said last week it had completed enrollment for its 30,000-participant late-stage trial. As of last week, more than 25,650 participants had received the second of the company’s two-dose Covid-19 vaccine. Moderna said about 37% of the participants were from diverse communities and 42% were at high risk of severe disease.

Just over half, 53%, of the participants in the trial are male and 47% are female, according to a presentation from the company. The vast majority of participants are over the age of 25, with only 5% in the 18 to-24 age group.

On a call with investors Thursday, Bancel said the company expects the data and safety monitoring board, which will assess whether the trial is successful, will conduct its first interim analysis in November. The board will not conduct its analysis until after there are 53 cases of Covid-19 diagnosed in Moderna’s phase three trial.


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