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Moderna, EU conclude advanced talks to supply COVID-19 vaccine candidate

FILE PHOTO: Moderna Therapeutics seen during COVID-19 in Massachusetts

(Reuters) – Moderna Inc <MRNA.O> said on Monday it has concluded advanced talks with the European Union to supply 80 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which is currently in late-stage testing.

The potential agreement provides for an option for member states to buy an additional 80 million doses of mRNA-1273 for a total of up to 160 million doses, the company said, without disclosing the financial terms of the pact.

The drug developer is the fifth company with which the EU has concluded talks, after Sanofi-GSK <SASY.PA> <GSK.L>, Johnson & Johnson <JNJ.N>, CureVac <CVAC.O> and the signing of an advance purchase agreement with AstraZeneca <AZN.L>.

Moderna said it was working with manufacturing partners like Lonza Group AG <LONN.S> of Switzerland and Laboratorios Farmacéuticos Rovi SA<ROVI.MC> of Spain to produce the vaccine outside the United States.

Moderna, which is one of the handful of companies with vaccine candidates in late-stage testing, also said it was on track to complete enrollment of about 30,000 participants in the study in September.

Earlier this month, the company signed a pact with the United States to supply 100 million doses of the potential COVID-19 vaccine for around $1.5 billion.

Moderna on Monday reiterated it was scaling up global manufacturing to be able to deliver about 500 million doses per year and possibly up to 1 billion doses per year, beginning in 2021.

(Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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