Moderna, an American pharmaceutical giant that developed mRNA technology with the help of U.S. government using taxpayer funds, will now produce mRNA drugs exclusively for Chinese markets, the company told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The company will produce drugs using mRNA technology exclusively for the Chinese market that will not be exported, the company said. Moderna received roughly $2.5 billion in federal funding for research and orders of the COVID-19 vaccine, and cooperated with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in its late-stage trials for the development of its mRNA vaccine for COVID-19.
“On July 5th, we signed a memorandum of understanding and a related land collaboration agreement to work toward opportunities for Moderna to research, develop and manufacture mRNA medicines in China,” a spokesman told the DCNF in a statement. “These agreements are focused on strengthening health security by targeting unmet needs and contributing to the ecosystem of medical solutions available to patients in China. Any medicines produced under this agreement will be exclusively for the Chinese people — who face many of the same health challenges that affect other communities around the world — and will not be exported.”
The move is part of a broader push from pharmaceutical companies to tap into China’s medical market, which is home to an aging population with high rates of chronic disease, according to the Financial Times. Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca’s China president and global executive vice president pledged in May that the company would be patriotic in China and “love” the country’s ruling communist party; AstraZeneca also received federal funding to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
Moderna previously had a drawn out dispute with the National Institutes of Health over who invented the core component of its mRNA COVID-19 vaccine following a year-long collaboration between the two, according to The New York Times. Moderna is also using mRNA technology to develop new medical treatments including cancer treatment.
Previous negotiations between China and Moderna fell through in the fall of 2022 after the company declined to hand over its mRNA intellectual property.
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