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Moderna stands to earn $300M for quick vaccine approval, up to $6.6B for extra doses: filing

Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine deal with the U.S., announced last week with a $1.525 billion price tag, would be worth far more if all options are exercised—and if the mRNA biotech meets an aggressive timeline for the shot’s arrival.

The company stands to gain up to a whopping $8.125 billion, according to a Moderna securities filing that details the price for follow-up doses and the windfall for an early FDA approval.

The base agreement calls for 100 million doses of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, for $1.225 billion. But the drugmaker is eligible for a $300 million bonus if it’s able to score an FDA emergency use authorization or full approval by Jan. 31, the filing shows.  

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The tie-up also allows the government to purchase up to 400 million additional doses through four contract options, each comprising 100 million doses. 

Each 100 million-dose chunk would cost the U.S. government $1.65 billion, making those vaccine doses cost $16.50 each. If the government exercised all options, that’d be another $6.6 billion in revenues on top of the first round of $1.525 billion.

RELATED: After nearly $1B in research funding, Moderna takes $1.5B coronavirus vaccine order from U.S. 

Last week’s agreement builds on $955 million in R&D funding the government has already awarded to the biotech, which has entered late-stage testing with its candidate.

Also under the agreement, Moderna is entitled to “approximately $600 million” for producing documents related to production, according to the filing. And if Moderna wins an FDA endorsement for the vaccine but doesn’t fulfill the supply order, the company is obligated to help the government or a third party scale up manufacturing to produce the doses. 

RELATED: Moderna has started turning out COVID-19 vaccine doses for quick shipment if approved: CEO 

In addition to the Moderna deal, the government has inked supply agreements with AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Novavax, with all of the agreements totaling 800 million doses. Pfizer’s partner BioNTech has said the team could be in a position to seek emergency approvals by October. For his part, vaccine expert Peter Hotez recently told CNN there’s “no way” a vaccine will be available by Election Day on Nov. 3. 

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