Moderna Lands $1.5 Billion Vaccine Contract From Operation Warp Speed
Moderna has secured a $1.5 billion Operation Warp Speed contract to supply 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate to the U.S. government, with an option to supply 400 million more doses if needed.
Under the terms of the agreement, Moderna will receive an initial $1.2 billion to manufacture and deliver the 100 million doses to the government, with an additional $300 million to be earned if the vaccine receives an Emergency Use Authorization or a biologics license from the FDA.
The full terms of Operation Warp Speed agreements have not been publicly released, but a rough calculation would price the Moderna vaccine at approximately $15 per dose or $30 for the required two-dose regimen.
Contracts with other vaccine developers under Operation Warp Speed are in the same general price range per dose. Novavax’s $1.6 billion contract to supply 100 million doses would price each dose at $16 each, and Pfizer/BioNTech’s $2 billion contract for 100 million doses would price each dose at $19.50.
HHS said the vaccines will be provided at no cost to the public, although there may be a small fee for administering them.
Moderna will begin manufacturing the doses while its phase 3 clinical trials continue. In late July, the company kicked off a late-stage U.S. trial of the vaccine candidate in 30,000 participants at nearly 100 sites. Early results from the trial are expected in the fall (DID, July 28).
Counting its Operation Warp Speed contract from HHS’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and the Department of Defense, the Cambridge, Mass. company is on track to receive a total of $2.5 billion from the U.S. government to help develop mRNA-1273 and to have adequate supplies ready to go should it prove safe and effective in clinical trials.
Moderna plans to produce 500 million doses of the vaccine this year and up to billion doses annually starting next year. — James Miessler