4.5 million doses for Switzerland – Leader in the vaccine race, Moderna settles in Basel

The American “biotech” lab chooses Switzerland for its European sales office. Well placed in the search for a vaccine to counter the Covid, it awaits the results on its effectiveness at the latest in January.

A firefighter in Ithaca, New York, takes part in the trials of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Moderna and the US National Institutes of Health at the end of July

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Moderna, the “biotech” laboratory in the Boston region which has been promising a vaccine against Covid-19 for six months this winter, announced on Wednesday the establishment in Basel of its commercial representation for Europe. It is its first subsidiary outside the United States.

Its new manager, Dan Staner – a Swiss passed through Eli Lilly – let it be known yesterday that he would recruit “between twenty and thirty specialists, by the end of this year” in the Rhine city or by telework for the rest. from Switzerland.

These staff, which should double in the space of a year, will drive the manufacture and marketing of the vaccine, its medical and regulatory aspects, but also relations with the various authorities for its approval and reimbursement.

4.5 million doses for Switzerland

Massively supported by the American government, Moderna calls on the pharmaceutical factories of the Swiss group Lonza – in Visp and in the state of New Hampshire – to provide it with the active pharmaceutical elements necessary for the 500 million doses planned for next year.

At the beginning of August, the Confederation announced an order of 4.5 million doses of this future vaccine. Bern had planned a budget of 300 million francs, intended to be supplied from several laboratories in order to vaccinate 60% of the population, “initially”.

Initial role of Swiss finance

With the American-German Pfizer-Biontech consortium, Moderna is one of two labs testing a new vaccine technology – known as “messenger RNA” – still waiting to be proven. Results are expected no later than January, followed by express approval in the United States. Millions of doses are already being manufactured, in case the trials are conclusive.

Tuesday in the magazine “Bilan”, Stéphane Bancel, the boss of Moderna said that “Swiss investors – in particular the Pictet group and large families from entrepreneurship – provided the majority of funds raised in 2012”, at the beginning of the society development. Swiss financiers who, according to this former head of bioMérieux, held up to 20% of the capital of Moderna, against 10% today.

Posted: 09/16/2020, 7:18 p.m.

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