MRNA stock seems poised to run when pre-market trading begins on Monday, July 27, 2020, after the company reported an expansion of their agreement with BARDA.

Moderna, Inc. (Nasdaq: MRNA), a clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines to create a new generation of transformative medicines for patients, today announced a modification to its contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for an additional commitment of up to $472 million to support late stage clinical development including the expanded Phase 3 study of the Company’s mRNA vaccine candidate (mRNA-1273) against COVID-19.

An earlier award from BARDA for up to $483 million was entered into to support the scale up of mRNA-1273 and clinical development, originally with a smaller anticipated number of participants in the Phase 3 clinical trial. Following discussions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and consultations with Operation Warp Speed over the past several months, the Company has decided to conduct a significantly larger Phase 3 clinical trial, leaving a gap in BARDA funding that will be closed by this contract modification. Under the terms of the revised contract, BARDA is expanding their support of the Company’s late stage clinical development of mRNA-1273, including the execution of a 30,000 participant Phase 3 study in the U.S. The total value of the award is now approximately $955 million.

“We thank BARDA for this continued commitment to mRNA-1273, our vaccine candidate against COVID-19.” said Stéphane Bancel, Moderna’s Chief Executive Officer. “Encouraged by the Phase 1 data, we believe that our mRNA vaccine may aid in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and preventing future outbreaks.”

The Phase 3 COVE study is being conducted in collaboration with National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is expected to begin tomorrow, July 27. The Phase 3 study protocol has been reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is aligned to recent FDA guidance on clinical trial design for COVID-19 vaccine studies. The randomized, 1:1 placebo-controlled trial is expected to include approximately 30,000 participants at the 100 µg dose level in the U.S. The primary endpoint will be the prevention of symptomatic COVID-19 disease. Key secondary endpoints include prevention of severe COVID-19 disease (as defined by the need for hospitalization) and prevention of infection by SARS-CoV-2. The ClinicalTrials.gov identifier is NCT04470427.

Moderna is working closely with Operation Warp Speed and the NIH, including NIAID’s COVID-19 Prevention Trials Network (CoVPN), to conduct the Phase 3 COVE study. Working together with collaborators like NIH, the Company hopes to achieve a shared goal that the participants in the COVE study are representative of the communities at highest risk for COVID-19 and of our diverse society.

The Company remains on track to be able to deliver approximately 500 million doses per year, and possibly up to 1 billion doses per year, beginning in 2021 from the Company’s internal U.S. manufacturing site and strategic collaboration with Lonza. In addition, Moderna recently announced a collaboration with Catalent for large-scale, commercial fill-finish manufacturing of mRNA-1273 at Catalent’s biologics facility in Indiana. Initial funding of $1.3 billion for Moderna to begin producing mRNA-1273 supply at-risk was secured from investors in the Company’s most recent public equity offering in May 2020.

BARDA is part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services; Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response; Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, under Contract No. 75A50120C00034.

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