CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Moderna, Inc. (Nasdaq: MRNA), a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines to create a new generation of transformative medicines for patients, today confirmed that the Company is engaged in discussions with the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan (MHLW) to potentially purchase 40 million or more doses of mRNA-1273, Moderna’s vaccine candidate against COVID-19, to support Japan’s aim of providing vaccines to the public as soon as possible. Under the terms of this arrangement, the vaccine would be supplied by Moderna, Inc. and distributed in Japan by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (NYSE: TAK) beginning in the first half of 2021, if the vaccine receives regulatory approval. Kato Katsunobu, Minister of MHLW, announced the discussions in a meeting with media today in Japan.
Over the past nine years, Moderna has invested in creating and developing a novel platform for designing and manufacturing a new class of mRNA-based vaccines. The investments in this proprietary platform have enabled Moderna to expeditiously create, manufacture and clinically develop mRNA-1273 to potentially address the current COVID-19 pandemic. A summary of the company’s work to date on COVID-19 can be found here.
Moderna is advancing messenger RNA (mRNA) science to create a new class of transformative medicines for patients. mRNA medicines are designed to direct the body’s cells to produce intracellular, membrane or secreted proteins that can have a therapeutic or preventive benefit and have the potential to address a broad spectrum of diseases. Moderna’s platform builds on continuous advances in basic and applied mRNA science, delivery technology and manufacturing, providing the Company the capability to pursue in parallel a robust pipeline of new development candidates. Moderna is developing therapeutics and vaccines for infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, rare diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, independently and with strategic collaborators.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended including, but not limited to, statements concerning terms of the Company’s potential supply agreement with the MHLW, distribution by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and the timing for this supply and distribution, if an agreement is reached. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “will,” “may,” “should,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “aims,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential,” “continue,” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words. The forward-looking statements in this press release are neither promises nor guarantees, and you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements because they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, many of which are beyond Moderna’s control and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties, and other factors include, among others: the Company’s ability to reach a final agreement with the MHLW on the supply of mRNA-1273; the ability to manufacture and deliver doses at the scale required by any potential agreement with the MHLW and other customers; preclinical and clinical development is lengthy and uncertain, especially for a new class of medicines such as mRNA, and therefore our preclinical programs or development candidates may be delayed, terminated, or may never advance to or in the clinic; no commercial product using mRNA technology has been approved, and may never be approved; mRNA drug development has substantial clinical development and regulatory risks due to the novel and unprecedented nature of this new class of medicines; despite having ongoing interactions with the FDA or other regulatory agencies, the FDA or such other regulatory agencies may not agree with the Company’s regulatory approval strategies, components of our filings, such as clinical trial designs, conduct and methodologies, or the sufficiency of data submitted; the fact that the rapid response technology in use by Moderna is still being developed and implemented; the fact that the safety and efficacy of mRNA-1273 has not yet been established; potential adverse impacts due to the global COVID-19 pandemic such as delays in clinical trials, preclinical work, overall operations, regulatory review, manufacturing and supply chain interruptions, adverse effects on healthcare systems and disruption of the global economy; and those risks and uncertainties described under the heading “Risk Factors” in Moderna’s most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and in subsequent filings made by Moderna with the SEC, which are available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Except as required by law, Moderna disclaims any intention or responsibility for updating or revising any forward-looking statements contained in this press release in the event of new information, future developments or otherwise. These forward-looking statements are based on Moderna’s current expectations and speak only as of the date hereof.