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UPDATE 1-Europe purchases 80 mln more doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine

(Adds details of Moderna vaccine, regulatory approval timeline)

Dec 18 (Reuters) - Drug developer Moderna Inc said on Friday the European Commission had exercised its option to purchase an additional 80 million doses of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine.

The European Commission's total order commitment to date is now 160 million doses and the first deliveries of the vaccine to European countries is slated to begin in early 2021 following regulatory approval, the company said. (bwnews.pr/3gYEjNX)

Moderna’s vaccine appeared set to receive regulatory authorization as early as Friday in the United States after a panel of outside advisers to the Food and Drug Administration endorsed its use with a 20-0 vote and one abstention that the vaccine’s benefits outweighed its risks.

The European Union has supply deals with other vaccine makers, including for up to 300 million doses of Pfizer Inc and Biontech’s shot.

Moderna’s shares pared some losses to trade flat before the bell.

Reporting by Manas Mishra and Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Amy Caren Daniel

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