Moderna says it is preparing for the global launch of the Covid vaccine as it collects $ 1.1 billion in deposits

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The medical syringes are seen with the Moderna company logo displayed on a screen in the background in this illustrative photo taken in Poland on October 12, 2020.

Jakub Porzycki | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Moderna is gearing up for the global launch of its potential coronavirus vaccine, already receiving $ 1.1 billion in deposits from pending governments for the potentially life-saving drug, the biotech company said in its third-quarter earnings report on Thursday. .

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company said it was in talks with the World Health Organization-backed COVAX initiative over a tiered price proposal for its potential vaccine, which it tentatively calls mRNA-1273. It already has supply agreements in North America, the Middle East and other parts 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,” Moderna CEO Stéphane 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.

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Moderna shares rose more than 2% in pre-market trading.

Moderna, one of the pioneers in the Covid-19 vaccine race, said last week that it had completed recruiting for its advanced stage trial of 30,000 participants. As of last week, more than 25,650 participants had received the company’s second two-dose Covid-19 vaccine. The company said about 37% of attendees were from diverse communities and 42% were at high risk for serious illness.

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

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In a call with investors Thursday, Bancel said the company expects the data and security supervisory board, which will assess whether the trial is successful, to perform its first interim analysis in November. The board will only conduct its analysis after 53 cases of Covid-19 diagnosed in Moderna’s phase three trial.

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 prompt the immune system to fight off the virus.

In August, Moderna said it was charging some customers between $ 32 and $ 37 per dose for its vaccine, under a cheaper “pandemic price”. He said he was in discussions for larger volume deals that will have a lower price.

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Moderna said Thursday that his vaccine should be stored at minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit, which would keep 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 seven days. It should be administered within 12 hours of thawing.

Separately, the company reported a third-quarter loss of $ 233.6 million, or 59 cents per share, higher than the loss of 43 cents per share expected by analysts polled by Refinitiv. The company generated revenue of $ 157.9 million, higher than the $ 77.5 million expected by Wall Street.

Executives hold a call with investors at 8 a.m. ET.

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