Moderna CEO expects COVID-19 vaccine interim results in November – WSJ

(Reuters) – Moderna Inc MRNA.O Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Bancel expects interim results from its COVID-19 vaccine trial in November and that the U.S government could give an emergency use nod in December, the Wall Street Journal reported here on Monday.

Speaking at the newspaper’s annual Tech Live conference, Bancel also said sufficient interim results from the study takes longer to get and that the government’s permission to use the vaccine may not come until next year.

The first interim analysis of the vaccine’s efficacy will happen when 53 people in the entire study get symptomatic COVID-19, the report said.

FILE PHOTO: A sign marks the headquarters of Moderna Therapeutics, which is developing a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., May 18, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

“That first analysis is likely to occur in November, but it’s hard to predict exactly which week because it depends on the cases, the number of people getting sick,” the report quoted Bancel as saying.

Bancel had told Financial Times here last month that Moderna would not be ready to apply for emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine before Nov. 25 at the earliest.

Bancel also highlighted that a ramping up of production is a challenge. “If one ingredient is missing, we cannot make the vaccine,” as per the Journal’s report.

Moderna is on track to produce 20 million doses of its experimental vaccine by the end of the year, the company had said last month, adding that 25,296 participants had enrolled out of a planned 30,000 in its late-stage study.

Drugmakers are racing to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, with more than 150 potential vaccines being developed and tested globally.

Besides Moderna, Pfizer Inc PFE.N, and AstraZeneca Plc AZN.L, among others, are front-runners to develop the vaccine.


Reporting by Anirudh Saligrama in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V


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