July 25, 2021

Moderna Strikes Another Coronavirus Vaccine Manufacturing Deal To Ensure Overseas Supply

Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) announced another manufacturing deal Thursday for mRNA-1273, its vaccine candidate for the novel coronavirus.

Moderna Covering All Manufacturing Bases: The Boston, Massachusetts-based company said Thursday it has entered into a collaboration with Laboratorios Farmacéuticos Rovi, S.A. — a pan-European CDMO specializing in small molecules and biological specialties— for large-scale, commercial fill-finish manufacturing of mRNA-1273 at the latter’s facility in Madrid, Spain.

The agreement calls for Rovi to provide vial filling and packaging capacity by procuring a new production line and equipment for compounding, filling, automatic visual inspection and labeling to support production of hundreds of millions of doses of the vaccine candidate to supply markets outside of the U.S. starting in early 2021.

The CDMO will also hire additional staff to support the manufacturing and production.

“ROVI’s experience as a global manufacturer of drug product and expertise in fill-finish will be an important partnership for us to establish dedicated supply chains that can meet the needs of different countries and regions. I am delighted to be working with ROVI again,” Juan Andres, Moderna’s chief technology operations and quality officer, said in a statement.

Moderna signed similar manufacturing deal with U.S. CDMO Catalent Inc (NYSE: CTLT) in late June for supplying to the U.S. market.

In early May, Moderna announced a 10-year strategic collaboration deal with Swiss CDMO Lonza for manufacturing material equivalent of up to 1 billion doses of the vaccine per year, assuming the individual dose is 50 micrograms.

What’s Next For Moderna’s Vaccine Program: On Wednesday, Moderna said it has completed enrollment for both cohorts of the Phase 2 study.

The Phase 1 study is ongoing, and preliminary results from the NIAID-sponsored study showed positive immunogenicity and safety data.

Despite reports of disagreement with government investigators that are potentially delaying the start of the Phase 3 trial, Moderna reiterated the July start timeline for the study, which is slated to enroll about 30,000 participants.

In premarket trading Thursday, Moderna shares were adding 0.68% to $62.

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