Moderna CEO tells FT coronavirus vaccine won’t be ready on election day

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In this file photo taken on August 13, Moderna protocol files for COVID-19 vaccinations are kept at America’s Research Centers in Hollywood, Florida.

AFP / Getty Images

Moderna Inc.’s potential coronavirus vaccine will not be ready until the U.S. presidential election, the chief executive of the biotech company told the Financial Times on Wednesday.

CEO Stéphane Bancel told FT in an interview that Moderna MRNA,
+ 0,32%
– a pioneer in the COVID-19 vaccine race – will not apply for emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration until Nov. 25 at the earliest, and does not expect to obtain the approval for the distribution of the vaccine to the general public until spring 2021.

“I think a delay [first quarter], early [second quarter] approval is a reasonable timeframe, based on what we know about our vaccine, ”Bancel told the FT.

President Donald Trump pushed for a vaccine on polling day, worrying some experts who fear a rushed and inadequate testing process.

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn has promised the approval process will be based on science, not policy. “The FDA will not allow anyone to lobby to change this,” Hahn said recently. “I will put the best interests of the American people before anything else.”

Despite Trump’s claims that a vaccine could be ready in a matter of weeks, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Robert Redfield told Congress earlier this month that blanket vaccinations are not expected until after. next year.

Moderna, based in Cambridge, Mass., Has one of seven coronavius ​​vaccine candidates being tested in the United States, and one of four that have reached advanced stages of testing.

In August, Moderna said the U.S. government had agreed to purchase 100 million doses of its vaccine candidate, with an option to purchase an additional 400 million doses, for a total of $ 2.48 billion.

Moderna shares are up more than 261% year-to-date, versus the S&P 500’s SPX,
+ 0,82%
4% gain this year.

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