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Key Facts Senators Need to Know Before the Moderna Hearing


Key Facts Senators Need to Know Before the Moderna Hearing

1) The NIH-Moderna vaccine was undergirded by support from the public and taxpayers at every step of the way. 

  • The NIH-Moderna vaccine is a product of research partnerships with federal scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as reflected in NIH claims to key patents underpinning the vaccine. NIH invention contributions to the vaccine include the genetic sequence and a technique for stabilizing the spike protein.
  • The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) entered into a contract with Moderna worth $430 million in April of 2020.[1] Moderna received an additional $50-plus million from BARDA specifically to support manufacturing capacity scale-up that May.
  • From 2020 through 2022, BARDA provided Moderna with $1.7 billion to support clinical trials. The NIH provided Moderna with more than $400 million to support preclinical work and clinical trials, bringing the total U.S. Government R&D contribution to $2.1 billion. Including advance market commitments, which further de-risked private investment, and procurement of vaccine supply, Moderna has received more than $12 billion from U.S. taxpayers.
  • Even before the outbreak of SARS-CoV2 in 2019, public dollars supported Moderna’s work developing technology that would later be used in the NIH-Moderna vaccine. The Department of Defense, BARDA and NIH all provided funding to Moderna to support development of vaccines for Zika and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), an illness caused by another kind of coronavirus.

2) Stephane Bancel and three additional investors and executives affiliated with Moderna become billionaires during the pandemic. Their financial success has come largely at the expense of U.S. taxpayers, without whom the NIH-Moderna vaccine, and perhaps even Moderna itself, would not exist.

3) Despite this unprecedented public support and the extraordinary wealth Bancel and others have already accrued, Moderna plans to more than quadruple the price it charges in the United States to $110-$130 per dose.

[1] Despite Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel claiming that they “didn’t get any help” when they “asked governments around the world in the first half of 2020 to help [them] with manufacturing,” notably April is in the first half of the year. May is also in the first half of the year.