Moderna has partnered with Tabuk Pharmaceutical, a subsidiary of Saudi-based Astra Industrial Group, to commercialise its Covid-19 Vaccine and future variant-specific booster candidates, in Saudi Arabia.

Under the terms of the agreement, Tabuk will be authorised to market Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine, along with its updated variant booster candidates in Saudi Arabia.

Also, the company can discuss options to distribute other Moderna mRNA products, contingent on their authorisation in the future.

Moderna said that the partnership with Tabuk will expand the global access to its vaccine and facilitates the availability of the Covid-19 vaccine for the people of Saudi Arabia.

Moderna chief commercial officer Corinne Le Goff said: “We welcome the opportunity to work with Tabuk Pharmaceuticals to bring the Moderna Covid-19 and potentially other Moderna mRNA products to Saudi Arabia in the future.

“Together with our partners, we remain committed to delivering our vaccine to more populations around the world. We are pleased to have secured a new agreement to supply our Covid-19 vaccine and our updated variant booster vaccine candidate, if authorised, to Saudi Arabia for 2021 and 2022.”

Moderna is focused on developing mRNA-based therapeutics and vaccines for infectious, immuno-oncology, rare, cardiovascular and auto-immune diseases.

Also called mRNA-1273, the company’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate has met the primary efficacy endpoint, and showed 94.5% vaccine efficacy in the first interim analysis.

The current agreement follows a manufacturing agreement with Baxter International in March, with Sanofi and Catalent in April, and Samsung Biologics in May this year.

Tabuk Pharmaceuticals business development and strategy vice president Wisam Alkhatib said: “We are proud and excited at Tabuk to be partnering with Moderna to commercialise crucial vaccines to Saudi Arabia building on our strategy to expand our speciality and innovative business and reinforces our leading position in the region.

“Our aspiration is to be the partner of choice to Moderna in the region and consider further strategic collaboration including local manufacturing in Saudi.”