Key Points

  • Moderna has struck a deal with Chinese officials to research, develop, and manufacture mRNA medicines exclusively for the Chinese population.
  • This marks Moderna's first agreement in China and signifies its ambition to leverage the success of its mRNA-based Covid vaccine.
  • The specifics of the deal, including its value, remain undisclosed.
  • Moderna aims to address unmet medical needs in China and contribute to the country's medical solutions.
  • China's preference for Chinese-made Covid vaccines and challenges in developing mRNA technology domestically have posed obstacles for international companies like Moderna.

In a surprising move amidst increasing tensions between the U.S. and China, Moderna, the Massachusetts-based biotech company, has announced a significant deal with Chinese officials. The agreement entails researching, developing, and manufacturing messenger RNA (mRNA) medicines exclusively for the Chinese population. This development marks Moderna's first foray into the Chinese market and demonstrates its intention to capitalize on the success of its mRNA-based Covid vaccine.

The memorandum of understanding

The memorandum of understanding and land collaboration deal were signed to cement the partnership, with details of the agreement remaining undisclosed. Chinese media outlets previously reported that the deal could be valued at approximately $1 billion, but Moderna has neither confirmed nor denied this figure. The company's spokesperson emphasized that the focus of the collaboration is on addressing unmet medical needs and contributing to the medical solutions available to patients in China.

Moderna's mRNA technology, which teaches human cells to produce an immune response against a virus, has proven highly effective in combating Covid-19. The success of its Covid vaccine has positioned Moderna as a frontrunner in the field of mRNA-based therapeutics. As part of its global expansion efforts, the company has secured contracts to export or locally manufacture Covid vaccines for various countries, including Japan, Canada, Australia, and Kenya.

However, gaining entry into the Chinese market has been a challenge for Moderna and other U.S.-based companies. Beijing has been resolute in promoting Chinese-made Covid vaccines for its population, despite their perceived lower efficacy compared to Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Additionally, China has faced difficulties in developing mRNA technology domestically and only approved its first mRNA vaccine earlier this year.

The recent deal with Chinanot only marks Moderna's entry into the Chinese market but also extends beyond Covid vaccines to include the development of mRNA medicines overall. This demonstrates the company's confidence in the potential of mRNA technology beyond the current pandemic. It is worth noting that China's Ministry of Commerce held a meeting with prominent international drugmakers, including Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Novo Nordisk, Merck, Sanofi, and GE HealthCare Technologies, to discuss their operations in the country. Whether Moderna was part of this discussion remains unclear.

As tensions between the U.S. and China persist, the Biden administration has been actively seeking to diversify investments and trade away from China. While this deal raises eyebrows given the geopolitical landscape, it also highlights the potential for collaboration in the medical field, bridging the gap between nations and advancing global health security.

About Moderna, Inc.

  • Ticker MRNA
  • Exchange NASDAQ
  • Sector Healthcare
  • Industry Biotechnology
  • Shares Outstandng 391,200,000
  • Market Cap $39.7B
  • Description
  • Moderna, Inc., a biotechnology company, discovers, develops, and commercializes messenger RNA therapeutics and vaccines for the treatment of infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, rare diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and auto-immune diseases in the United States, Europe, and internationally. Its respiratory vaccines include COVID-19, flu, resp...
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