Moderna signals slower timeline for Covid-19 vaccine

Moderna signals slower timeline for Covid-19 vaccine

Moderna could have to wait until as late as December to analyse data from its Covid-19 vaccine trial, longer than would be necessary to meet the Trump administration’s hopes of issuing an emergency approval ahead of the US election. 

The Boston-based biotech company on Thursday said it had enrolled more than 25,000 participants in its trial, with more than 10,000 of those having received both doses in the vaccine course.

It also set out a slower analysis timeline than rival Pfizer and its partner BioNTech, which said they would have their key data by the end of October. Shares in Moderna fell 2.4 per cent to $67.22 on the news.

Stéphane Bancel, Moderna chief executive, told CNBC that if the infection rate in the US slowed in the coming weeks, it may not be able to examine data until December. 

But he added that the most likely scenario was an interim analysis in November — and if infection rates increased, it could be earlier. “Our best plan is October. I think it’s unlikely but it is possible.”