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Will Moderna Catch Up On The Vaccine Race?

Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Report said Tuesday it has won an award of up to $1.525 billion from the U.S. government for 100 million doses of its as-yet-unapproved mRNA-1273 vaccine candidate for COVID-19.

The contract includes incentive payments for timely delivery of the vaccine. The mRNA-1273 vaccine entered Phase-3 trials on July 27.

Shares of Moderna rose sharply in after-hours trading, gaining $7.79, or 11.29%, to $77.35.

Under the agreement, the government will have an option to acquire 400 million additional doses. The deal follows an early development grant this year for $955 million from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), at the Dept. of Health and Human Services.

"We appreciate the confidence of the U.S. government in our mRNA vaccine platform and the continued support," Stéphane Bancel, Moderna’s CEO, said in a statement. "We are advancing the clinical development of mRNA-1273 with the ongoing Phase 3 study being conducted in collaboration with NIAID and BARDA. In parallel, we are scaling up our manufacturing capability with our strategic partners, Lonza, Catalent and Rovi, to address this global health emergency with a safe and effective vaccine." - The Street