Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) is in talks with Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to sell 40 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine mRNA-1273. If the sides can come to terms -- and the vaccine is ultimately approved in the country -- Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceutical (NYSE:TAK) will distribute the vaccine starting in the first half of 2021.
Earlier this week, Moderna disclosed that it was in "advanced discussions" with the European Commission to supply 80 million doses of mRNA-1273. And a few weeks ago, the company announced a deal with the U.S. government to supply 100 million doses of the vaccine. The U.S. deal comes with an option for the government to purchase up to an additional 400 million doses.
Investors will want to pay close attention to the price per dose when the terms of the contracts with the Japanese and EU governments are disclosed. The U.S. government is only paying $15.25 per dose for its initial 100 million doses of mRNA-1273, which is substantially cheaper than the $19.50-per-dose deal Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) got for their coronavirus vaccine, BNT162.
Of course, Moderna has also received $955 million in financial support from the U.S. government for the development of mRNA-1273, so it seems reasonable for the U.S. government to receive a discount compared to the price of vaccines from other drugmakers.
Moderna is working on scaling up its manufacturing capabilities with the goal of delivering 500 million doses per year with the possibly of increasing output to 1 billion doses per year, beginning in 2021.