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Health

Moderna says UK deal will supply COVID-19 vaccine from March

FILE PHOTO: Vials with a sticker reading "COVID-19/Coronavirus vaccine/Injection only" and a syringe are seen in front of a displayed Moderna logo in this illustration taken October 31, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

(Reuters) - Moderna Inc confirmed on Tuesday it had agreed to supply its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, to the United Kingdom starting from the beginning of March, as long as it succeeds in gaining local regulatory approval.

The company’s statement did not disclose other terms of the agreement, including the number of doses it agreed to supply.

UK Health Minister Matt Hancock told a news conference on Monday that the deal would see the U.S. startup, one of two vaccine makers who have so far published positive data on final-stage trials, supply five million doses from next spring.

Moderna on Monday said mRNA-1273 was 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19 based on interim data from its late-stage clinical trial.

Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in October started a real-time review of the vaccine candidate, a process which allows for a faster approval of a treatment.

The company on Tuesday also said it was on track to deliver about 500 million doses per year and possibly up to 1 billion doses per year, beginning in 2021.

It has tied up with manufacturing partners Lonza of Switzerland and ROVI of Spain, for manufacturing and fill-finish outside of the United States, to supply the vaccine to Europe and other countries outside U.S.

Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Patrick Graham

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