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Moderna inked a $1.525 billion deal with the U.S. government for the supply of 100 million doses of its promising mRNA-1273 vaccine. MRNA stock is up in the pre-market.
The United States Government in furtherance of its ‘Operation Warp Speed’ has arrived at an agreement with Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) for the supply of 100 million doses of the company’s mRNA vaccine. The agreement was confirmed by President Donald Trump in a White House Press briefing as well as Moderna in a press release. Valued at $1.525 billion, the U.S. government remains one of the biggest investors in Moderna to date.
Through Operation Warp Speed, the U.S. government has made a substantial investment in companies with active COVID-19 vaccine candidates in development. These include such pharmaceutical giants as Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) amongst others.
“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,” President Trump said during a press conference at the White House.
Following the new deal, shares of Moderna (MRNA) has corrected the loss in yesterday’s trading session. While the shares lost 4.22% to close at $68.97 on Tuesday, it has gained 11.28% after hours on Wednesday. Now in the pre-market, MRNA stock is at $75.60 (+9.61%). Moderna (MRNA) shares have climbed by over 220% in 2020 and that is attributable to its COVID-19 vaccine mRNA-1273
Advances of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine
Moderna is a biotechnology company that is the brain behind mRNA-1273, a potential vaccine/drug that essentially contains a set of instructions meant to direct the body to make proteins that can fight the coronavirus.
The vaccine is being developed in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, and it has a genetic material dubbed messenger RNA, or mRNA, for which scientists hope boosts the immune system to fight the virus.
The vaccine has received goodwill from different investors as it has shown promising results in its clinical trials. The Moderna mRNA-1273 is a viable part of Operation Warp Speed with hopes to get the vaccine out the latest by the beginning of 2021 which fairly aligns with the timeline of the HHS. The HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement:
“For Operation Warp Speed, we are assembling a broad portfolio of vaccines to increase the odds that we will have at least one safe, effective vaccine as soon as the end of this year. With this latest investment, we will have supported the vaccine candidate developed by Moderna in partnership with the NIH all the way from early development through clinical trials and now manufacturing, with the potential to bring millions of safe and effective doses to the American people.”
Deal between Moderna and U.S. Govt
As is the case with the other COVID-19 candidates, good cash liquidity will help in keeping the production process smooth. With the previous award of up to $955 million from BARDA for the development of mRNA-1273 to licensure, this new deal with Moderna brings the U.S. government commitments for early access to mRNA-1273 to up to $2.48 billion.
The firm claims it will be using this fund to advance the clinical development of mRNA-1273 with the ongoing Phase 3 study.
“We appreciate the confidence of the U.S. government in our mRNA vaccine platform and the continued support,” said Stéphane Bancel, Moderna’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are advancing the clinical development of mRNA-1273 with the ongoing Phase 3 study being conducted in collaboration with NIAID and BARDA. In parallel, we are scaling up our manufacturing capability with our strategic partners, Lonza, Catalent, and Rovi, to address this global health emergency with a safe and effective vaccine.”