EU signs deal with Moderna for 80 million dose of 94% effective COVID-19 vaccine

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The European Commission has approved a contract with US-based pharmaceutical company Moderna for the initial purchase of 80 million doses plus an option to request up to a further 80 million doses of mRNA-1273, Moderna's vaccine candidate against COVID-19. This is the sixth contract under the EU Vaccines Strategy, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said they are working on yet another one.
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The contract with Moderna will enlarge the already broad portfolio of vaccines to be produced in Europe, including the contracts signed with AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSKJanssen Pharmaceutica NV, BioNTech-Pfizer and the contract approved with CureVac

This diversified vaccines portfolio will ensure Europe is well prepared for vaccination, once the vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective.

Member States can also decide to donate the vaccine to lower and middle-income countries or to re-direct it to other European countries.

A safe and effective vaccine is more important than ever in helping to restore normality and overcome this pandemic. No one is safe until everyone is safe

, commented Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety.

The agreement will be finalized following a brief review period by the EU member states. 

Delivery of the vaccine could begin as early as the first quarter 2021 if it is approved for use by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) human medicines committee (CHMP), which started a rolling review of mRNA-1273 on November 17.

"We have scaled up our manufacturing capacity outside of the United States with our strategic partners, Lonza and Rovi, to be able to deliver approximately 500 million doses per year and possibly up to 1 billion doses per year beginning in 2021, if approved,” said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna in a separate statement.

On November 16, Moderna announced that the independent, U.S. NIH-appointed Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) for the Phase 3 study of mRNA-1273 has informed Moderna that the trial has met the statistical criteria pre-specified in the study protocol for efficacy, with a vaccine efficacy of 94.5%. This study, known as the COVE study, enrolled more than 30,000 participants in the U.S. and is currently being conducted.

Moderna shares rose more than five fold this year on reports about its vaccine candidate.

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About Moderna

Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA), Moderna pioneers in the development of a new class of vaccines based on messenger RNA (mRNA) transported into cells by lipid nanoparticles. Its vaccine platform has been developed over the last decade. The basic principle is the use of this molecule as a data carrier, with the help of which the body itself can make proteins and trigger lasting immunity to COVID-19.

mRNA medicines are designed to direct the body’s cells to produce intracellular, membrane or secreted proteins that can have a therapeutic or preventive benefit and have the potential to address a broad spectrum of diseases. The company’s platform builds on continuous advances in basic and applied mRNA science, delivery technology and manufacturing, providingModernathe capability to pursue in parallel a robust pipeline of new development candidates.Modernais developing therapeutics and vaccines for infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, rare diseases and cardiovascular diseases, independently and with strategic collaborators.

Cover photo: Moderna

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