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Market Chatter: Top US Infectious Disease Expert Slams Moderna for Premature Release of Coronavirus Vaccine Data

6:11AM ET 6/02/2020 MT Newswires
Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has criticized Moderna (MRNA) for releasing preliminary data from the Phase 1 clinical study of its mRNA-1273 against SARS-CoV-2.

In an interview with the health news website Stat on Monday, Fauci expressed his disapproval of the company for sharing data from the study which is still in its initial stage. "What we would have preferred to do, quite frankly, is to wait until we had the data from the entire Phase 1 - which I hear is quite similar to the data that they showed - and publish it in a reputable journal and show all the data," the immunologist said.

Data from the clinical trial showed Moderna's vaccine helped create immune responses in eight healthy volunteers. However, findings have yet to demonstrate whether the vaccine would prevent infection from the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Fauci told the publication that the preliminary results look "very promising" because it showed "antibody that was neutralizing live virus, at levels that you would predict would be protective - if in fact neutralizing antibody, which is a reasonable assumption, is going to be a correlate of immunity."

The health official also said in the interview that Pfizer's (PFE) mRNA vaccine is "very similar to Moderna's" and that he expects the vaccine candidate to get results "that are as good as the Moderna vaccine."

(Market Chatter news is derived from conversations with market professionals globally. This information is believed to be from reliable sources but may include rumor and speculation. Accuracy is not guaranteed.)

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