USA – The Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) of the European Commission (EC) is looking to buy mRNA COVID-19 vaccines from pioneering biotech company Moderna.
In a press release published on January 16, Moderna accepted the HERA’s milestone request to initiate the sale of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, through a tendering procedure.
“A diversified supply of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines is vital for Europe and public health worldwide. mRNA technology has shown itself to be a proven platform for COVID-19 vaccine development through the pandemic,” said Moderna.
The biotech company emphasizes the immediate necessity for flexibility to mitigate the risk posed by future variants of concern and to facilitate respective vaccine updates.
“As we look towards the 2024 vaccination season and associated preparation, it will be important to allow adequate time to prepare the capacity required for manufacturers to manufacture and supply COVID-19 vaccines for this year’s season,” highlighted Moderna.
Moreover, Moderna announced business updates and progress on the company’s pipeline of transformative mRNA medicines.
In 2023, the company achieved US$6.7 billion in product sales and resized its COVID-19 manufacturing footprint for the endemic setting. The company’s team significantly increased COVID-19 market share to 48% in the United States.
The biotech company enters 2024 with 45 therapeutic and vaccine programs, nine of which are in late-stage development, in addition to preparing for the launch of its second product, an RSV vaccine.
On top of this, the company intends to participate in the tendering procedure by the HERA as one of two mRNA COVID-19 vaccines were approved for use in Europe alongside BioNTech-Pfizer’s vaccine.
This tendering procedure comes after key stakeholders in Europe, such as the European Medicines Agency, expressed the need for a diversified portfolio of COVID-19 vaccines.
The procedure involves the potential tender process for COVID-19 vaccines by the HERA, the terms of the potential tender, and the benefits of a diversified supply of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines for Europe.
It also entails the strengths of Moderna’s platform and the potential for Moderna to secure additional sales of COVID-19 vaccines to Member States.
It is important to note that the HERA was set up as a service of the EC to strengthen Europe’s ability to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to cross-border health emergencies.
Moderna struck an agreement with the EC for the provision of COVID-19 vaccines until 2026. Hence, the initiated tendering procedure will allow Member States to secure access to a diversified portfolio of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines in 2024 and beyond.
Additionally, Moderna has consistently shown its ability to develop, manufacture, and supply COVID-19 vaccines against circulating variants.
The company’s updated COVID-19 vaccine for the 2023 vaccination season continues to provide an immune response against currently circulating strains of COVID-19, including JN.1., which is now the dominant strain in the United States.
“It is vital that healthcare professionals and the general public have a choice in addressing their vaccination needs in line with the latest scientific and real-world evidence,” the company reported.
Moderna further detailed that this is vital for vulnerable populations, such as the elderly and immunocompromised, and to help bolster the readiness of healthcare systems across the European Union.
Taking into account expected recommendations from global public health authorities and regulators on the potential need for variant updated vaccines, Moderna intends to participate in the tender process for mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.