Moderna Announces New Supply Agreement with Australia for 25 Million Doses of its COVID-19 Vaccine
Moderna, Inc. (Nasdaq: MRNA), a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines, today announced a new supply agreement with the government of Australia for 25 million doses. This includes 10 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine against the ancestral strain (mRNA-1273) to be delivered in 2021 and 15 million doses of Moderna’s updated variant booster vaccine candidate to be delivered in 2022.
Purchase under this agreement is subject to regulatory approval of mRNA-1273 and booster vaccine candidates by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of Australia. The Company expects to submit an application to the TGA shortly. As Moderna has continued to scale its commercial network, the Company announced earlier this year that it also plans to open a commercial subsidiary in Australia in 2021.
“We appreciate the partnership and support from the government of Australia with this first supply agreement for doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and our variant booster candidates,” said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna. “As we seek to protect people around the world with our COVID-19 vaccine and potentially our variant booster candidates, we look forward to continuing discussions with Australia about establishing potential local manufacturing opportunities.”
Initial data from Moderna’s Phase 2 study in the U.S. showed that a single 50 µg dose of mRNA-1273 or mRNA-1273.351 given as a booster to previously vaccinated individuals increased neutralizing antibody titer responses against SARS-CoV-2 and two variants of concern, B.1.351 (first identified in South Africa) and P.1 (first identified in Brazil). A booster dose of mRNA-1273.351, the Company’s strain-matched booster, achieved higher neutralizing antibody titers against the B.1.351 variant of concern than a booster dose of mRNA-1273. Safety and tolerability profiles following third dose booster injections of 50 µg of mRNA-1273 or mRNA-1273.351 were generally comparable to those observed after the second dose of mRNA-1273 in the previously reported Phase 2 and Phase 3 studies. A manuscript describing these preliminary results was submitted as a preprint to medRxiv and will be submitted for peer-reviewed publication upon completion of the multivalent mRNA-1273.211 booster arm.