Moderna stocks fell after media reports about a possible delay in the crucial transition of the company to the broader study of its vaccine COVID-19. The investor skepticism increased because of the success of preliminary studies of competitors Pfizer and BioNTech that can get ahead of Moderna in the production of the vaccine.
Many experts in the field of infectious diseases called the vaccine company Moderna (MRNA) against COVID-19 candidate No. 1 in the world. Action, Moderna grew by more than 200% over the past six months. However, over the last eighteen months the share price of the biotechnology company strongly decreased from the peak on may 18 at $85,95 to the price of $58,57 at the close of trading on Thursday.
Moderna shares were traded with a large decline on Thursday, after the news Agency STAT News reported that the planned study is a phase 3 vaccine candidate against Moderna COVID-19 mRNA-1273 may be delayed.
Vaccine Moderna, developed jointly with the National Institute of Allergy and infectious diseases USA (NIAID) and the Washington research Institute for health Kaiser Permanente (KPWHRI) in Seattle was one of the first tested on humans.
However, to confirm the effectiveness of the vaccine, the company had in July to move from clinical trials 2 phases on a small number of people to 3 phase, which would include about 30 000 patients.
According to STAT News, Moderna had to modify the study Protocol, that can slow down the transition to a new phase of research.
At the same time, the leadership of Moderna responded to this message confirming their plans to start a more extensive survey this month, in addition, the company produced enough vaccine to begin phase 3 trials.
In a statement left on Twitter said: “We worked closely with the National institutes of health, to agree the final Protocol to start the test on time.”
Some experts confirmed that companies conducting clinical trials often make changes to the Protocol, but these changes usually are not drastic. The delay in changes of the Protocol – a common problem with clinical studies and not a problem with the vaccine candidate.
In addition, falling stock Moderna may be associated with the success of competitors-manufacturers of vaccines. Moderna shares fell the day before on Thursday on news of positive results of the tested vaccine Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech. Clinical research 2 the phases of the vaccine COVID-19 – BNT162b1 conducted on 45 volunteers showed the formation of a very high level of antibodies in patients who received 2 doses of the drug.
In addition, the current leader in the race was headed by the British company AstraZeneca, in partnership with the University of Oxford, who has moved to broader clinical testing of its vaccine on tens of thousands of volunteers.
Details of the study AstraZeneca have not been released, but last week chief researcher of the world health organization has said that vaccine AstraZeneca is probably the leading candidate in the world and the most advanced from the point of view of development.
In a recent speech Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the task force of the President of Donald trump in the fight against the pandemic and the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and infectious diseases, said: “we are cautiously optimistic looking at the preliminary research data. Now we at least know the degree of effectiveness of the vaccine this winter or early next year.”
Bernstein Research analyst Vincent Chen estimates that global production of vaccine COVID-19 can bring more than $10 billion in annual revenue.
At the same time, Credit Suisse analyst Evan Seigerman (Evan Seigerman) warned analysts to abandon the inflated estimates of the stock of biotechnology.
“In the short term they do not earn a lot of money on these vaccines. The first round of vaccines will be rented or sold at cost. They will be able to start earning money on them if the vaccine COVID-19 will be something like the flu shots that people should regularly do every year,” said Seigerman.