Moderna is preparing to roll out its potential worldwide Coronavirus Vaccine, which is already raising $ 1.1 billion in deposits from governments waiting for the potentially life-saving drug, the biotech announced Thursday in its third-quarter earnings report.
The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company said it is in discussions with the World Health Organization-sponsored COVAX initiative about a tiered price proposal for its potential vaccine, which it tentatively names mRNA-1273. There are already supply contracts in North America, the Middle East and other regions of the world.
“We are actively preparing for the launch of mRNA-1273 and have signed a number of supply agreements with governments around the world,” said Stephane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, in a press release. “Moderna is committed to the highest standards of data quality and rigorous scientific research as we continue to work with regulators to advance mRNA-1273.”
Moderna shares rose more than 3% in the morning.
Moderna, a front runner in the Covid-19 vaccine race, announced last week that late-stage registrations had been completed with 30,000 entrants. By last week, more than 25,650 participants had received the company’s second, two-dose Covid-19 vaccine. According to Moderna, about 37% of the participants were from different communities and 42% were at high risk for serious illness.
A little more than half (53%) of the study participants are male and 47% female, according to a presentation by the company. The vast majority of the participants are older than 25 years, only 5% in the age group of 18 to 24 year olds.
Medical syringes can be seen with the Moderna company logo displayed on a screen in the background in this illustration photo taken in Poland on October 12, 2020.
Jakub Porzycki | NurPhoto | Getty Images
Speaking to investors Thursday, Bancel said the company expects the data and security oversight board, which will assess whether the attempt is successful, will conduct its first interim analysis in November. The board will only conduct its analysis after 53 cases of Covid-19 have been diagnosed in Moderna’s phase three study.
Moderna’s vaccine, which is being developed with help from the National Institutes of Health, contains genetic material called messenger RNA, or mRNA, which scientists hope will stimulate the immune system to fight the virus.
In August, Moderna announced that some customers were being charged between $ 32 and $ 37 per dose for their vaccine at lower “pandemic prices”. The company said it was under discussion for larger volume agreements that will come at a lower price.
Moderna said Thursday its vaccine would need to be stored at minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit, which will hold it for up to six months. In comparison, Pfizer’s vaccine requires a storage temperature of minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit.
Moderna’s vaccine can also be refrigerated at around 36 degrees for up to seven days. It must be given within 12 hours of thawing.
Regardless, the company reported a loss of $ 233.6 million, or 59 cents per share, for the third quarter, which was higher than Refinitiv’s polled loss of 43 cents per share. The company had sales of $ 157.9 million, exceeding Wall Street’s expectations of $ 77.5 million.
Executives called investors at 8:00 a.m.CET.