ETHIOPIA – Moderna, Inc., a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines, has announced a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to make up to 110 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine available to the African Union.
The Company is prepared to deliver the first 15 million doses in the fourth quarter of 2021, 35 million doses in the first quarter of 2022, and up to 60 million doses in second quarter 2022. All doses are offered at Moderna’s lowest tiered price, in line with the Company’s global access commitments.
In 10 years since its inception, Moderna has transformed from a science research-stage company advancing programs in the field of messenger RNA (mRNA), to an enterprise with a diverse clinical portfolio of vaccines and therapeutics across six modalities.
The company also prides itself of a broad intellectual property portfolio in areas including mRNA and lipid nanoparticle formulation, and an integrated manufacturing plant that allows for both clinical and commercial production at scale and at unprecedented speed.
Moderna maintains alliances with a broad range of domestic and overseas government and commercial collaborators, which has allowed for the pursuit of both groundbreaking science and rapid scaling of manufacturing.
“We are pleased to be able to supply our vaccine to the African Union through this agreement, which was facilitated in part by the White House team. This is the first step in our long-term partnership with the African Union. We would like to thank the African Union and the White House for helping to make this possible,” said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna.
Bancel also added that their vaccine can play an important role in addressing the needs of low-income countries given its combination of high Phase 3 efficacy against COVID-19, strong durability in the real-world evidence, and superior storage and handling conditions.
The Company is also working on plans to allow it to fill doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in Africa as early as 2023, in parallel to building an mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Africa.
This new MoU would be in addition to Moderna’s agreement with COVAX to supply up to 500 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine from the fourth quarter of 2021 through 2022. Additionally, the Company recently announced an investment of up to US$500 million to plan to build a state-of-the-art mRNA facility in Africa with the goal of producing up to 500 million doses of vaccines at the 50 µg dose level each year.