Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine to cost US$50-US$60 per course

A nurse gives Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate to a volunteer in New York on Monday. (AP pic)

NEW YORK: Moderna Inc is planning to price its coronavirus vaccine at US$50 to US$60 per course, at least US$11 more than another vaccine from Pfizer Inc and BioNTech, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources.

Moderna’s proposed price for a two-dose course sold to governments compares with US$39 for two doses under a deal that Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech struck with the US government.

Industry analysts said Pfizer and BioNTech’s US$2 billion deal to cover 50 million patients, which is contingent on an approvable product, would likely pressure other manufacturers to set similar prices.

Moderna’s proposed price would apply to the US and other high-income countries, according to the report.

A Moderna spokesperson said the company was in discussions with governments about potential supply of the vaccine, called mRNA-1273, but did not provide any details on pricing “given the confidential nature of the discussions and contracts”.

The final price for Moderna’s Covid vaccine has yet to be determined, a person familiar with the discussions told Reuters.

Pfizer, Moderna and Merck & Co have said they plan to sell their vaccines at a profit, while some drugmakers, including Johnson & Johnson have announced plans to price their vaccines on a not-for-profit basis.

AstraZeneca Plc agreed to provide the US 300 million doses of its potential vaccine in exchange for US$1.2 billion in upfront funding, which works out to US$4 per dose.

The US government has provided Moderna with nearly US$1 billion in funding to support its research and development efforts for its potential Covid-19 vaccine.

The funding is part of “Operation Warp Speed”, an initiative by the Trump administration to hasten the production of an inoculation for Covid-19, which has so far killed around 650,000 people worldwide.