Moderna secures additional grant of US $ 472 million for development of coronavirus vaccine

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(Reuters) – Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) said on Sunday it had received an additional $ 472 million from the U.S. government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to support the development of its new coronavirus vaccine.

FILE PHOTO: A sign marks the headquarters of Moderna Inc, which is developing a vaccine against the coronavirus, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, May 18, 2020. REUTERS / Brian Snyder / File Photo

The US-based drugmaker said the additional funding will support its late-stage clinical development, including the expanded Phase 3 study of Moderna’s vaccine candidate.

As of April, Moderna received $ 483 million from the U.S. federal agency that funds disease-fighting technology, while the investigational vaccine was in a preliminary trial conducted by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

“Encouraged by the data from Phase 1, we believe our mRNA vaccine can help fight the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent future outbreaks,” CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a press release.

BARDA’s total funding for Moderna’s investigational vaccine, the first in the United States to begin human trials of a coronavirus vaccine, is now around $ 955 million.

The vaccine uses synthetic messenger RNA (mRNA) to inoculate against the coronavirus. These treatments help the body to immunize against a virus and can potentially be developed and manufactured faster than traditional vaccines.

A phase 3 study, conducted in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will begin on July 27 and involve around 30,000 participants, according to the company.

Moderna said it remains on track to be able to deliver around 500 million doses per year, and possibly up to 1 billion doses per year, starting in 2021.

The announcement of additional funding came two days after the drug’s developer said its formula used to develop the vaccine was not covered by patents held by Arbutus Biopharma (ABUS.O)

Pfizer Inc (PFE.N), Novavax Inc (NVAX.O), British company AstraZeneca Plc (AZN.L) are other few drugmakers who have received funding from BARDA for the development of a vaccine against the coronavirus.

Report by Maria Ponnerhath in Bengaluru; Edited by Will Dunham

Our standards:Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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