Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries and Medical Appliances Corp. signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding; with German biotech company CureVac NV to provide a Covid-19 vaccine in Saudi Arabia.
In genera; the avlability of the vaccine is subject to approval from the kingdom's Ministry of Health and the Food and Drug Authority; Saudi Pharma said. The MoU includes the possibility of extending the supply and distribution rights in the United Arab Emirates; Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman.
CureVac's coronavirus vaccine also showed immune response in early trials and its chief executive officer said advanced clinical trials are on track to start by year-end.
The European Union has agreed to pay $11.84 per dose for an initial supply of 225 million doses of CureVac's vaccine candidate; Reuters reported earlier this month.
Markedly the company has spent two decades investigating the potential of messenger RNA; in which a vaccine or drug teaches the body's cells to identify;and create its own substances to ward off disease.
Two other frontrunner vaccine developers are also betting on mRNA — Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech SE; and the U.S. biotech Moderna Inc.
Saudi Arabia deputy health minister said earlier this month that the kingdom; is working on a plan to obtain sufficient amounts of coronavirus vaccines. Saudi Pharma said it will determine the financial impact of the deal after obtaining approvals and signing the final commercial deal.