Moderna Inc said Thursday that it was partnering with contract pharmacist Catalent Inc to fill and package millions of doses of its experimental coronavirus vaccine to be supplied in the United States.
The vaccine, one of the first to be tested on humans in the United States, was found to produce protective antibodies in a small group of healthy volunteers.
Under the agreement, Catalent will provide manufacturing services for a starting dose of $ 100 million starting in the third quarter at its facilities in Bloomington, Indiana.
It will also provide other packaging and labeling, warehousing and distribution services at its Philadelphia, Pennsylvania facility to support the Moderna advanced-stage vaccine trial, expected to begin in July. (https://reut.rs/384fCLt)
Drug makers, including Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca Plc, have also signed agreements to increase the manufacturing capacity of their experimental vaccines even before they have adequate evidence of their efficacy.
There are no approved treatments or vaccines for COVID-19 and experts have warned that a safe and effective vaccine can take at least 12 to 18 months from the start of development.
Vaccines from other drug manufacturers, including Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi, and AstraZeneca Plc, are in various stages of development and around a dozen vaccines are currently being tested in humans.
Both Moderna and Catalent are also in talks to make hundreds of millions of additional doses.
Separately, Moderna reached agreements with the US government. USA To obtain funds to increase manufacturing capacity, it also entered into a 10-year collaboration with Swiss contract drug maker Lonza Group AG to produce large quantities of its vaccine.
Moderna’s shares rose 2.5% to $ 66.48 in premarket operations.
(Report by Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bangalore; Shailesh Kuber and Arun Koyyur edition)