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Moderna to charge $25-$37 for Covid-19 vaccine as company’s stocks soar

MASSACHUSETTS, United States: Moderna Chief Executive Stephane Bancel has said the company would charge governments between $25 and $37 per dose of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, depending on the amount ordered.

“Our vaccine, therefore, costs about the same as a flu shot, which is between $10 and $50,” he said.

An EU official involved in the talks said the European Commission wanted to reach a deal with Moderna for the supply of millions of doses of its vaccine candidate for a price below $25 per dose.

“Nothing is signed yet, but we’re close to a deal with the EU Commission. We want to deliver to Europe and are in constructive talks,” Bancel said, adding it was just a “matter of days” until a contract would be ready.

Moderna has said its experimental vaccine is 94.5% effective in preventing Covid-19, based on interim data from a late-stage clinical trial, becoming the second developer to report results that far exceeded expectations after Pfizer and its partner BioNTech.

The EU has been in talks with Moderna for its experimental Covid-19 vaccine at least since July.

Though Covid-19 cases continue to surge, more hope is on the way. After Pfizer and Moderna announced success with their mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccines last week, British pharma giant AstraZeneca said its experimental vaccine, AZD1222, developed with the University of Oxford, is 70% effective in preventing the coronavirus.

Although AstraZeneca’s efficacy rate wasn’t as impressive as that of Pfizer’s or Moderna’s (both 95%), the news was a huge boost of hope in the endless battle against Covid-19, especially considering the Pfizer and Moderna alone won’t be able to deliver enough doses to meet the massive demand out there.

AstraZeneca claimed its vaccine can hit 90% efficacy under certain dosing conditions.

As more vaccine trials wrap up, it’s also becoming clear how much these vaccines will cost.

In the US, the first batch of select vaccines will be paid for by the government. However, it’s to be determined who will be eligible to receive free doses and how much out-of-pocket costs will be down the road.

Moderna’s stock soared 10%

Meanwhile, Moderna Chief Executive Stephane Bancel cashed out $1.74 million worth of his shares just as the company has sought to secure emergency use authorisation by the end of this month, according to filings registered with the SEC.

The company’s stock soared 10% last week after data showed its vaccine is 94.5% effective. It was trading up 2.5% on Monday.

The stock’s recent rally has lifted Bancel’s net worth to $3.1 billion, based on his 6% stake in the group, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Bancel’s $1.74 million comes from the sale of 9,000 directly-owned shares at $93.87 and a further sale of 10,000 indirectly-owned shares at $89.80, the filing showed. 

is stock sale was carried out through a routine Rule 10b5-1, a predetermined trading plan that allows company executives to sell shares at set times without facing insider trading accusations.

Pfizer will charge $20 per dose. Free for early recipients

Pfizer will likely be the first Covid-19 to reach the market. The company submitted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) application for emergency use authorisation on Friday.

Earlier this month, Pfizer CEO assured consumers that the vaccine will be free for all US citizens. He was likely referring to the first 100 million doses pre-ordered by the US government under Operation Warp Speed.

Pfizer has promised to deliver that batch before the end of the year, with the possibility of expanding the government contract for an additional 500 million doses in 2021.

Related story: Coronavirus vaccine over 90% effective: Pfizer

After that, it’s unclear how much Pfizer will ask for the vaccine. The wholesale price negotiated in the government contract is $20 per dose.

Moderna will charge between $10 to $50 per dose. Free for early recipients

Like Pfizer, Moderna’s first vaccine batch will be covered by government contracts. But pricing will depend on the amount ordered. Moderna CEO Stephen Bancel said the company will charge governments between $10 and $50 per dose.

The US has secured 100 million doses for Americans at the cost of $15 per dose. (Moderna received nearly $1 billion of US government funding in developing the vaccine.) The European Union is reportedly negotiating a deal to keep the per-dose price under $25.

This vaccine will likely be pricier for retail customers after government programs phase out. In its most recent quarterly earnings, Moderna said the vaccine will be sold for $32 to $37 per dose for some customers.

Also like Pfizer, Moderna’s vaccine also requires two doses.

AstraZeneca will charge under $4 per dose. Free for early recipients

AstraZeneca has a $1.2 billion agreement with the US government to supply up to 300 million doses to Americans. That funding also included the money used in the vaccine’s phase 3 trials. So the per-dose price at which the US government has agreed to purchase the vaccine is under $4.

On Monday, AstraZeneca said it will provide vaccines at cost “in perpetuity” to low- and middle-income countries in the developing world.

AstraZeneca is a member of Covax, a global initiative aiming to distribute two billion vaccine doses to 92 low- and middle-income countries at no more than $3 a dose. Neither Pfizer nor Moderna has joined the initiative.

It’s unclear yet how many doses a person will need from AstraZeneca. The company’s phase 3 trials have shown interesting results: two full doses appeared to be only 62% effective, while a half dose, followed by a full dose, was 90% effective.