Moderna has sewn up $18 billion in COVID-19 vaccine orders—and it's negotiating more

Moderna, racing to produce as many COVID-19 vaccine doses as possible this year, says it expects to reap $18.4 billion from its shot this year.

Moderna has already signed advance purchase agreements worth $18.4 billion for vaccine deliveries in 2021, the company said Thursday in reporting 2020 results. And it has more orders in the works: It's in talks to deliver more doses this year and next, and it’s involved in supply discussions with global organizations seeking to distribute coronavirus vaccines equitably worldwide. 

The eye-popping sales number is a big increase from just last month, when CEO Stéphane Bancel said Moderna had struck advance purchase agreements worth $11.7 billion. At the time, Bancel told Fierce Pharma his company could enter the ranks of the top vaccine companies worldwide because of its work in COVID-19.  

In 2019, the company posted just $60 million in revenues. In the fourth quarter of 2020, as the vaccine rollout got underway, Moderna generated $571 million. 

RELATED: Moderna sends COVID-19 booster shot for NIH testing as it hikes production targets past 2B doses 

So far, Moderna’s supply deals cover the U.S., EU, Japan, Canada, Korea, the U.K., Switzerland and several other countries. 

The company’s counterpart in the mRNA pandemic vaccine push, Pfizer, said earlier this month it expects $15 billion from its COVID-19 shot this year. The number could go up, Pfizer said, because it was still negotiating supply deals at the time. 

RELATED: Moderna's CMO Zaks quits for 'next leg of his career' after swift move to commercial focus

Moderna released its new revenue expectations a day after the company said it planned to produce at least 700 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in 2021—and up to 1 billion. Next year, the company is aiming for 1.4 billion doses. Meanwhile, chief medical officer Tal Zaks is leaving the company in September, Moderna said on Thursday. 

Also Wednesday, Moderna unveiled its strategy to deal with COVID-19 variants, including a study of a booster targeting the variant identified in South Africa, and other studies on variant-specific and multivariant vaccine candidates.