Has Israel signed a deal with Moderna to buy potential coronavirus vaccine?
According to a report in Israel's Channel 13 news, the country has signed a deal with Moderna for the future purchase of its potential COVID-19 vaccine if it succeeds in its development.
It is well known that Moderna Inc -- the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech firm -- is developing a vaccine against the novel coronavirus. Now, according to a report in Israel's Channel 13 news, the country has signed a deal with the US company for the future purchase of its potential COVID-19 vaccine if it succeeds in its development.
The Channel 13 report said that under the agreement the vaccine, if successful, will be exported to Israel. No other details were reported.
A spokesman for Israel's Health Ministry was not available for immediate comment, Reuters reported.
Moderna Inc said last week that it plans to start a trial of 30,000 volunteers of its much-anticipated coronavirus vaccine in July as the company enters the final stage of testing.
Moderna said it has selected the 100-microgram dose of the vaccine for the late-stage study. At that dose level, the company is on track to deliver about 500 million doses per year, and possibly up to 1 billion doses per year, starting in 2021 from the company's internal US manufacturing site and strategic collaboration with Swiss drugmaker Lonza.
The company said it chose the 100-microgram dose to maximize the immune response and minimize adverse reactions.
Moderna said is has completed manufacturing of enough vaccine to start the phase 3 trial.
In the midstage study, the company said it enrolled 300 healthy adults, who had each been dosed with at least one shot, as well as the first 50 older adults, aged 18 to 54.
MODERNA'S COVID-19 VACCINE
Moderna's vaccine called mRNA-1373, prevents the production of the protein which normally allows the virus to connect to the cell. By doing so, it limits the ability of the virus to enter cells in the first place, preventing the disease from developing and allowing the body's immune system to destroy the virus.
According to top US infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, the target to develop a COVID-19 vaccine is sometime in early 2021.
He said that vaccines in development around the world are in various stages of testing and added that he's confident one of the vaccine candidates will be proven safe and effective by the first quarter of 2021.