European Commission expands talks to a fifth vaccine manufacturer
The European Commission has today concluded exploratory talks with Moderna to purchase a potential vaccine against COVID-19. Moderna is the fifth company with which the Commission has concluded talks, following Sanofi-GSK on 31 July, Johnson & Johnson on 13 August, CureVac on 18 August, in addition to the signature of an Advance Purchase Agreement with AstraZeneca on 14 August.
The envisaged contract with Moderna would provide for the possibility for all EU Member States to purchase the vaccine, as well as to donate to lower and middle income countries or re-direct to European countries. It is anticipated that the Commission will have a contractual framework in place for the initial purchase of 80 million doses on behalf of all EU Member States, plus an option to purchase up to a further 80 million doses, to be supplied once a vaccine has proven to be safe and effective against COVID-19. The Commission pursues intensive discussions with other vaccine manufacturers.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said: “After intense negotiations, the European Commission has now concluded talks with a fifth pharmaceutical company, to enable rapid access to a vaccine against coronavirus for Europeans. We invest in companies using diverse technologies, to increase our chances to have vaccines that are safe and effective. We continue talks with other companies – as we want to make sure that vaccines are rapidly available on the market. European investments in coronavirus vaccines will benefit the whole world and will help us beat this virus.”
Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “Today’s outcome following the talks with Moderna show that we deliver on our commitment to get access to a safe and effective vaccine. I am pleased to see that we continue to fulfil our target of having a diversified portfolio of vaccines – a necessity to ensure eventual success and protecting our citizens against coronavirus.”
Moderna is a U.S. based company pioneering the development of a new class of vaccines based on messenger RNA (mRNA). mRNA plays a fundamental role in human biology, transferring the instructions which direct cells in the body to make proteins, including proteins that may prevent or fight disease.
The exploratory talks concluded today are intended to result in an Advance Purchase Agreement to be financed with the Emergency Support Instrument, which has funds dedicated to the creation of a portfolio of potential vaccines with different profiles and produced by different companies.