Moderna says it's collected $1.1B for launch of potential COVID-19 vaccine

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Oct. 29 (UPI) -- U.S. biotech firm Moderna said Thursday said it has received $1.1 billion in deposits as it prepares to distribute its COVID-19 vaccine, if it's approved by health and federal regulators.

Moderna's mRNA-1273 vaccine has attracted cash deposits from the U.S. government and "several international government agencies" for future supplies, the company said in its third quarter earnings report.

Moderna said last week its 30,000-volunteer stage-three clinical trial, being conducted in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health and Department of Health and Human Services, is fully enrolled.

Company President Dr. Stephen Hoge also said the vaccine is on schedule to request approval from the Food and Drug Administration to bring it to market, possibly as soon as December.

"We are actively preparing for the launch of mRNA-1273 and we have signed a number of supply agreements with governments around the world," CEO Stephane Bancel said in a statement Thursday.

"Moderna is committed to the highest data quality standards and rigorous scientific research as we continue to work with regulators to advance mRNA-1273."

Bancel said the company expects the data and safety monitoring board, which will determine whether the trial was successful, will perform its first analysis in November, CNBC reported.

Moderna said in August it had supply agreements with the U.S. government for an initial 100 million doses and the European Union for 80 million doses. The company said Thursday that Japanese authorities and Takeda Pharmaceutical have agreed to buy and distribute 50 million doses, pending approval of the vaccine.

Moderna is one of four stage-three trials in the United States, with Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. Moderna was the first to start in late July. Novavax said this week it has delayed the start of the third stage for its vaccine until late November.

A number of other potential coronavirus vaccines are also in various stages of development. Click here for our COVID-19 vaccine tracker.

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