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Noubar Afeyan's Moderna Inc has signed a deal with Laboratorios Farmacéuticos Rovi SA to expand the production of its potential vaccine against COVID-19 for delivery to markets outside the US, Reuters reported.

Rovi will purchase a new production line and equipment for bottle filling and packaging, automatic visual inspection, and labeling, and will hire more staff to support the production of millions of doses of Moderna vaccine.

Moderna was one of the first to start COVID-19 human trials in the US and was found to produce protective antibodies in a small group of healthy volunteers in May. The company expects to begin late-stage trials this month.

Moderna earlier entered into agreements with the US government to allocate funds to ramp up production and a 10-year collaboration with Swiss contract drugmaker Lonza Group AG to produce 500 million doses per year and 1 billion doses starting in 2021.

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