According to public documents and a Trump administration official, the US government is linking payments for COVID-19 vaccines to timing milestones for production and approval, as reported in Fidelity.
In a recent agreement with Moderna, federal agencies negotiated a sliding scale of payments, with the company's $1.5-billion deal paying out in full if its vaccine receives regulatory clearance by January 31 next year, but being cut to $1.2 billion, if it falls short of that timing goal.
Filings show that Moderna also receives $600 million when it can demonstrate it has built out industrial-scale manufacturing capabilities for its vaccine, even if that happens before the vaccine is authorized.
Meanwhile, US government payments to other drugmakers are also conditional on launching clinical trials no later than early fall and building out manufacturing capabilities by the end of the year, two senior administration officials said, adding that terms vary by company.
The US has allocation agreements with Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, BioNTech, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline. It has also secured 300 million doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine in exchange for helping finance its R&D efforts.
Meanwhile, analysts already have suggested drugmakers may struggle to recoup billions invested in vaccine development at US treatment prices that so far range from $20 to $42 per person.
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