The departments of Health and Human Services and Defense have signed a potential $1.5B agreement with Moderna to produce 100M doses of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate as part of the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed.
The deal covers fill-finish manufacturing of the biotech company’s mRNA-1273 vaccine at U.S.-based facilities and allows the government to purchase up to 400M more doses, HHS said Tuesday.
Vaccine production and clinical trials will be carried out simultaneously to speed up development and get the candidate through the Food and Drug Administration’s authorization process in order to deliver the doses to the people for free as part of a COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
“In creating a vaccine portfolio for Operation Warp Speed, the Trump Administration is increasing the likelihood that the United States will have at least one safe, effective vaccine by 2021,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar.
Moderna works with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases within the National Institutes of Health to develop mRNA-1273, which is now under Phase 3 clinical trial.
The DoD Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority within HHS and Army Contracting Command partnered on the agreement to support Moderna’s vaccine development and production efforts.