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EU Secures Up To 160 Million Doses Of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine

Moderna Inc. (MRNA) said Wednesday that the European Commission has approved an agreement to secure 80 million doses of mRNA-1273, the company's vaccine candidate against COVID-19.

As per the agreement, the European Commission has the option to increase their purchase of mRNA-1273, from 80 million doses to a total of up to 160 million doses.

According to the company, delivery of the vaccine could begin as early as the first quarter 2021 if it is approved for use by the European Medicines Agency human medicines committee, which started a rolling review of mRNA-1273 on November 17.

Moderna said it has increased its manufacturing capacity outside of the United States with its strategic partners, Lonza and Rovi, to be able to deliver approximately 500 million doses per year and possibly up to 1 billion doses per year beginning in 2021, if approved.

Moderna expects to begin shipping mRNA-1273 to the European Union beginning in December 2020.

Last week, Moderna said that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate mRNA-1273 demonstrated an efficacy of 94.5% in its phase III study.

Earlier this week, AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine candidate AZD1222 demonstrated an average efficacy of 70%, based on pooled analysis of data from a phase II/III trial in the UK and a phase III trial in Brazil, involving a total of 11,636 patients.

In the phase II/III trial in the UK, dubbed COV002, where AZD1222 was given as a half dose, followed by a full dose at least one month apart, the efficacy was 90%. In the phase III trial in Brazil, dubbed COV003, where AZD1222 was administered as two full doses at least one month apart, the efficacy was 62%.

On November 9, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that their mRNA-based vaccine candidate, BNT162b2, which is under a phase III study, has been found to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in participants without evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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