On BFM Business, Stéphane Bancel indicated that his vaccine candidate has been funded 100% by the US government and is surprised that Europe has not yet placed an order for its vaccine.
“We have signed with a large number of countries in the world but not with Europe.” Asked about BFM Business, Stéphane Bancel was surprised that the countries of the European Union do not show more eagerness to secure the supply of his vaccine.
The French boss of Moderna, this laboratory which announced today encouraging intermediate results for its messenger RNA vaccine candidate, assures us that the United States has already placed an order.
“We have been discussing with many European countries since May but we have not signed a contract, assures Stéphane Bancel. The vaccine is about to be approved by the European health authorities, it would be a shame that” no country can have it. “
“The development of this vaccine was 100% funded by the American government, specifies the boss of Moderna. All the tests were carried out in the United States and we did not receive a euro from Europe.”
“A vaccine produced in Switzerland”
Production of the vaccine is expected to begin in the United States where the company has an industrial site. Moderna raised $ 1.3 billion in May to develop its industrial site in Boston. The company, which is not the size of the giant Pfizer, ensures that it can produce 20 million doses by the end of the year if its vaccine is approved. And between 500 million and 1 billion doses over the year 2021.
For this, the company has established industrial partnerships.
“We have very important agreements with the Swiss company Lonza which will manufacture our vaccine in Europe which will then be bottled in Spain for the European market and a few countries in the Middle East”, explains Stéphane Bancel.
The company hopes to have the approval of the health authorities within 7 to 15 days and hopes to be able to put its vaccine on the market in the last days of 2020 or early January 2021.
The technology used by Moderna is the same as that of Pfizer / BioNTech which first announced promising interim results, the messenger RNA that sends instructions to our body to produce antibodies. But the two companies used different technologies.
“The chemicals and patents used are different between Pfizer and us, assures the boss of Moderna. Moreover, the products will be stored differently. Our vaccine can be stored for 30 days at -20 ° C while with that of Pfizer, there is no possibility of storing it in a normal fridge as we do with insulin for example. “
Moderna is pleased in any case that many companies have developed a vaccine.
“No company in the world is able to immunize the entire planet, it will take four or five vaccine companies for that.”
Besides Pfizer and Moderna, many pharmaceutical giants are in phase 3 of development of their vaccine candidate such as AstraZaneca or the French Sanofi.