AstraZeneca has sold its stake in Moderna for $1 billion
British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca Plc has sold its 7.7 percent stake in Moderna Inc., the American pharmaceutical giant, for more than $1 billion, according to a report in The Times. The development comes after the US-based company's share prices soared owing to its coronavirus vaccine breakthrough, the report says. Here are more details on this.
AstraZeneca could sell COVID-19 vaccine on commercial basis in future
However, it was not immediately clear over what period AstraZeneca sold its holding in Moderna, the report adds. Separately, AstraZeneca is retaining its partnership with Moderna on other disease treatments and may sell its AstraZeneca/Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine on a commercial basis in the future if and when the virus becomes endemic, said the report.
Moderna expecting sales of $18.4 billion from vaccine this year
Meanwhile, Moderna had said last week that it was expecting sales up to $18.4 billion from its coronavirus vaccine this year. Moderna's vaccine had received emergency use authorization in the United States and Canada in December last year, and was cleared for use in the European Union in January 2021. It is said to have an efficacy of more than 90 percent.
AstraZeneca's vaccine among two being used in India
AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine, said to be one of the most effective, has been developed in collaboration with the Oxford University. It is also one of two vaccines currently in use in India. The country cleared the vaccine in January, paving the way for a massive inoculation program. It is being manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) with the brand name Covishield.
COVID-19 infected more than 11.46 crore across the globe
The COVID-19 pandemic, which originated in late 2019 in China, has affected more than 11.46 crore and killed 25.43 lakh around the world. The US remains the worst-affected nation in the outbreak, reporting over 2.92 crore infections and 5.25 lakh deaths. In India, the second worst-hit country, the virus has infected more than 1.11 crore and claimed the lives of over 1.5 lakh.