Israel in ‘final stages’ of purchasing coronavirus vaccine from US biotech company

The U.S. biotech firm responsible for the experimental vaccine hopes to produce somewhere between 500 million and 1 billion vaccines per year.

By Aaron Sull, World Israel News

An unnamed Health Ministry official told Ynet on Sunday that Israel is in “advanced talks” with a U.S. biotech company to purchase its experimental coronavirus vaccine.

When asked for comment on the report by CNBC, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said, “We are having discussions with multiple governments around the world and are not able to comment on these.”

Moderna’s experimental vaccine called mRNA-1373 tries to counter the coronavirus’s ability to latch on to healthy cells and spread, thereby giving the body’s immune system ample time to destroy the deadly disease.

On Thursday, Moderna announced it is completing stage two of trials and will be moving on to its third and final stage of trials in July.

In stage three, the experimental vaccine will be randomly administered to a portion of the study’s 30,000 healthy volunteers. Researchers hope that the randomized placebo-controlled trial will prove the vaccine’s efficacy in treating the virus and impeding its transmission of the pathogen responsible for coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

“We look forward to beginning our Phase 3 study of mRNA-1273 with some 30,000 participants in July,” said Moderna chief medical officer Dr. Tal Zaks. “Moderna is committed to advancing the clinical development of mRNA-1273 as safely and quickly as possible to demonstrate our vaccine’s ability to significantly reduce the risk of COVID-19 disease.”

If successful, Moderna expects to begin manufacturing in December and produce somewhere between 500 million and one billion vaccines per year.