The US-based biotech company Moderna has confirmed talks to supply 40 million doses of its potential Covid-19 vaccine to Japan.
Under the terms of this arrangement, the vaccine, mRNA-1273, would be supplied by Moderna and distributed in Japan by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. beginning in the first half of 2021, if the vaccine receives regulatory approval.
The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan announced the discussions on Friday. The development comes in the same week Moderna confirmed talks with the European Commission to supply 80 million doses of mRNA-1273 as part of the European Commission's goal to secure early access to safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines for Europe.
Earlier this month, the US government entered into a $1.5 billion deal with Moderna for the manufacture and delivery of 100 million doses of its potential Covid-19 vaccine, mRNA-1273.
With the previous award of up to $955 million for the development of the vaccine to licensure, the new announcement brings the US government's commitments for early access to mRNA-1273 to up to $2.48 billion. Under the terms of the agreement, the US government will also have the option to purchase up to an additional 400 million doses of mRNA-1273 from Moderna.
A Phase 3 study of mRNA-1273, being conducted in collaboration with the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), began on July 27.