(Adds background, details on deal)
June 25 (Reuters) - Moderna Inc said on Thursday it was partnering with contract drugmaker Catalent Inc for filling and packaging millions of doses of its experimental coronavirus vaccine to be supplied in the United States.
The vaccine, among the first to be tested in humans in the United States, was found to produce protective antibodies in a small group of healthy volunteers. The company plans to begin late-stage trials in July.
Under the deal, Catalent will provide manufacturing services for an initial 100 million doses starting in the third quarter at its facility in Bloomington, Indiana.
It will also provide other packaging and labeling, storage and distribution services at its facilities in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (reut.rs/384fCLt)
The two companies are in talks for making hundreds of millions of additional doses.
Separately, Moderna has struck deals with the U.S. government for funds to ramp manufacturing capacity, while also entering into a 10-year collaboration with Swiss contract drugmaker Lonza Group AG to produce large quantities of its vaccine.
There are currently no approved treatments or vaccines specifically for COVID-19 and experts have cautioned that a safe and effective vaccine may take at least 12 to 18 months from the start of development.
Reporting by Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Arun Koyyur