Moderna says it is actively preparing for launch of vaccine

Medical syringes are seen with Moderna company logo displayed on a screen in the background in this illustration photo taken in Poland on October 12, 2020.Jakub Porzycki | NurPhoto | Getty ImagesModerna is prepping for the global launch of its potential coronavirus vaccine, already taking in $1.1 billion in deposits from governments awaiting the potentially lifesaving drug, the biotech firm said Thursday in its third-quarter earnings report.The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company said it was in ongoing talks with the World Health Organization-backed COVAX initiative on a tiered pricing proposal for its potential vaccine, which it’s tentatively calling mRNA-1273. It already has supply agreements in North America, the Middle East and in other regions of the world.”We are actively preparing for the launch of mRNA-1273 and we have signed a number of supply agreements with governments around the world,” Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said in a press release. “Moderna is committed to the highest data quality standards and rigorous scientific research as we continue to work with regulators to advance mRNA-1273.”Shares of Moderna were up more than 2% in premarket trading.Moderna, a frontrunner in the Covid-19 vaccine race, said last week it had completed enrollment for its 30,000 participants late-stage trial. As of last week, more than 25,650 participants had received the second of the company’s two-dose Covid-19 vaccine. The company said about 37% of the participants were from diverse communities and 42% were at high risk of severe disease.Separately, the company reported a third-quarter loss of $233.6 million, or 59 cents a share, greater than the loss of 43 cents per share analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting. The company brought in $157.9 million in revenue, higher than the $77.5 million Wall Street was expecting.Moderna’s vaccine, which is being developed with the help of the┬áNational Institutes of Health, contains genetic material called messenger RNA, or mRNA, which scientists hope provokes the immune system to fight the virus.Executives are holding a call with investors at 8 a.m. ET.┬áThis is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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