Moderna, the Massachusetts based biotech company that manufactures one of the three Covid-19 vaccines thus far approved in the United States, announced last week that it has reached agreement with the US government, through the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to modify the terms of the contract under which Moderna is supplying the US with its product.
Moderna, compared to the rest of the Big Pharma crowd, is a baby, founded in 2010, it had its initial public offering (IPO) of stock in 2018. It is listed on NASDAQ and that IPO raised $621 million.
Moderna and BARDA had originally contracted under the Trump administration for the company to receive $483 million for the vaccine. That amount was increased to about $1 billion later, and now has been increased again, upon an accounting of the costs Moderna incurred in development, to $1.53 billion.
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There is concern in some quarters that this is an exercise in the “socialization of costs.” The people, through the US Treasury, pick up the costs and protect companies from the risks of research and development. But the benefits, the profits when this line of work bears fruit, are not socialized. They remain in the private hands of the companies and their investors.