The US government has entered into a $1.5 billion deal with biotechnology company Moderna for the manufacturing and delivery of 100 million doses of its potential Covid-19 vaccine, mRNA-1273. With the previous award of up to $955 million for the development of the vaccine to licensure, the new announcement brings the US government's commitments for early access to mRNA-1273 to up to $2.48 billion, Moderna said on Tuesday.
Under the terms of the agreement, the US government will also have the option to purchase up to an additional 400 million doses of mRNA-1273 from Moderna.
The US government has announced that consistent with its commitment to free access to Covid-19 vaccines, Americans will receive mRNA-1273 at no cost for the vaccine itself.
As is customary with all government-purchased vaccines, healthcare professionals could charge for the cost of administering the vaccine.
"We appreciate the confidence of the US government in our mRNA vaccine platform and the continued support," Stephane Bancel, Moderna's Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement.
A Phase 3 study of mRNA-1273, being conducted in collaboration with the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), began on July 27.
BARDA is part of the office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) within the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Enrollment for the study is on track to complete in September, Moderna said.