Moderna Inc, one of the front-runners in the race to develop a vaccine for the new coronavirus, said on Thursday it was preparing to launch the experimental vaccine and had already received $1.1 billion in deposits for supply.
The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company has signed deals with the U.S. government and several other countries, and is in talks with a WHO-led group for supply of the vaccine, which is in large, late-stage human trials.
While the company did not give a clear timeline on the release of data from these trials on Thursday, it has said that early data is expected in the coming weeks, depending on the number of infections seen in its 30,000-volunteer study.
Moderna, which has no approved products on the market yet, is one of the handful of companies in final trials for the vaccine, along with large drugmakers like Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer Inc.
“I believe that if we launch our COVID-19 vaccine, 2021 could be the most important inflection year in Moderna’s history,” said Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Bancel.
The company said it was in talks with the World Health Organization-backed COVAX facility on a tiered pricing proposal for its vaccine.