By Ankur Banerjee and Carl O'Donnell
(Reuters) - Moderna Inc <MRNA.O> said on Wednesday smaller volume agreements for its experimental coronavirus vaccine have been priced in the range of $32 to $37 per dose, higher than the price set by the U.S. deal for Pfizer Inc's <PFE.N> vaccine candidate.
As the race to develop COVID-19 vaccines reach a decisive stage, with several candidates being tested in pivotal late-stage studies, pricing has come under increasing scrutiny.
"We will be responsible on price well below (its) value during the pandemic," Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Bancel said on a conference call, adding that larger volume agreements for its vaccine will be priced lower.
Last month, the U.S. government struck a deal for an experiment vaccine being developed by Pfizer and partner BioNTech SE <22UAy.F> that secures enough vaccine to inoculate 50 million Americans for about $40 a person. Moderna's two-dose vaccine regimen would cost between $64 and $74 per person.
Moderna, which has no drugs on the market, has received nearly $1 billion from the U.S. government under a plan to speed up vaccine development. It has not struck a supply agreement with the United States.
The company said on Wednesday it was in talks with several countries for supply agreements for its vaccine, adding that it had already received about $400 million in deposits for eventual supply.
Moderna said enrolment for its late-stage vaccine study that aims to include 30,000 people is on track to be completed in September.
The company's vaccine candidate is one of the few that have already advanced to the final stage of testing. Effective vaccines are seen as essential to halting a pandemic that has claimed more than 700,000 lives worldwide.
Moderna said last month it plans to price its coronavirus vaccine in a way that ensures broad access and that it did not intend to conduct late-stage trials of the vaccine outside the United States.
Moderna shares fell 5% in early trading on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru and Carl O'Donnell in New York ; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Bill Berkrot)