According to the Financial Times, this price, expected to be charged to governments is not yet final. But it is one of the highest prices compared to the vaccines in development by rival labs such as Pfizer and BioNTech. Moderna intends to give priority to the United States as well as “rich” countries.
American biotech company Moderna could charge governments between 50 and 60 dollars for its upcoming coronavirus vaccine, the Financial Times reported today. That’s at least $11 more than the price proposed by other labs such as Pfizer Inc and BioNTech, and more than any other vaccine in development.
The price for Moderna’s vaccination regimen includes two doses, each costing $25 to $30. And according to the company, the United States and other high-income countries will be the first to have the right to buy this vaccine. According to one source quoted by the Financial Times, the price set by Moderna “causes considerable concern and difficulties in negotiations, in view of the fact that other companies have pledged much lower prices.” AstraZeneca, for example, has signed an agreement with the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Italy for a vaccine that would cost between $3 and $4 per dose.
According to a person familiar with the plans and quoted by the Financial Times, Moderna has decided to establish a high price because of short lead times and large orders.
Operation Warp Speed
Moderna has been very active in the race for a vaccine against coronavirus. This week, the company entered the final testing phase of its vaccine. It is the first of 160 vaccines in development to reach phase 3 clinical trials. Encouraging data has emerged from trials on monkeys. And now a much larger trial is underway, involving 30,000 people.
For the record, Moderna is one of five companies that the Trump administration is banking on as part of its “Warp Speed” deal, along with AstraZeneca (Oxford’s industrial partner for the vaccine), Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Pfizer. Operation Warp Speed (OWS) aims to manufacture 300 million doses of a safe, effective vaccine for COVID-19 by the end of 2020, beginning of January 2021.
Moderna is in the lead in the race. However, the American company has chosen to develop a Messenger RNA vaccine. This innovative approach allows it to be faster but has never yet been proven in humans.