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Fauci Reiterates Moderna Vaccine Data Is 'Cautiously Optimistic,' Expects Pfizer's Results To Be The Same

Fauci Reiterates Moderna Vaccine Data Is 'Cautiously Optimistic,' Expects Pfizer's Results To Be The Same

White House Coronavirus Task Force lead member Anthony Fauci in an interview with STAT on Monday said he was disappointed with the way Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA) chose to publish data from phase 1 clinical trial of its novel coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.

What Happened

"I didn't like that," the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director told STAT.

Fauci said the vaccine maker should have waited to get the complete data from the first phase of the study and publish it in a "reputable journal."

"But the company, when they looked at the data, as all companies do, they said, wow, this is exciting. Let's put out a press release," he added.

According to Fauci, the complete data is "quite similar" to the snippet Moderna published in the press release, and gives a reason to be "cautiously optimistic."

"The initial data look very promising from the neutralizing antibody standpoint," the NIAID director told STAT.

On other vaccines under development, Fauci said that Pfizer Inc.'s (NYSE: PFE) COVID-19 vaccine is very similar to that of Moderna's candidate, and there's no reason to believe that the results of its candidate will be any different.

"It's an mRNA vaccine. I'm sure that Pfizer is going to get results that are as good as the Moderna vaccine," he told STAT.

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Why It Matters

Moderna last week started the phase 2 clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine and is expecting to move to phase 3 in July.

Several vaccine experts have cast doubt on the efficiency of Moderna's vaccine, as earlier reported by STAT, saying what the company published "were words, not data."

Moderna Price Action

Moderna shares closed 1.1% higher at $62.18 on Monday.


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