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Moderna asks investors to wait for full data on flu vaccine amid selloff

Stock Markets Dec 10, 2021 04:21PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A vial and sryinge are seen in front of a displayed Moderna logo in this illustration taken January 11, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

By Leroy Leo and Mrinalika Roy

(Reuters) -Moderna Inc executives called on investors to wait for more data amid a sharp selloff in its shares on Friday, after early data showed its mRNA-based flu vaccine was no better than already approved shots in the market.

The company's shares tumbled 10% after its investor presentation showed antibody levels of its vaccine against all four strains of the influenza virus in an early-stage study were not as robust in older people as Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY)'s Fluzone HD.

"We can't make a direct comparison. We presented (Fluzone data) only as guidance," a company executive said on a conference call, responding to concerns that Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA)'s vaccine was inferior to Fluzone HD.

Moderna's vaccine candidate, mRNA-1010, is based on the messenger RNA technology, which also underpins its COVID-19 shots.

Following the huge success of mRNA-based vaccines in fighting the pandemic globally, drugmakers are rushing to tap the technology and develop shots for other diseases, including influenza.

"On one hand, the antibodies increased to good levels, but on the other hand, the levels aren't necessarily seen as high or necessarily better than some high-efficacy vaccines such as Flublok or Fluzone HD," Jefferies (NYSE:JEF) analyst Michael Yee said in a client note.

Moderna executives said the antibody response might have been limited by the population's previous exposure to the flu strains, adding that data on the full immune response, including T-cells, would better measure the effectiveness of the flu vaccines.

"Antibody titers are useful but are not the same as full efficacy," senior executive Jacqueline Miller said.

The early-stage study, testing the vaccine in 180 subjects, is ongoing and a mid-stage study testing it against an already approved flu vaccine is fully enrolled with 500 participants, the company said, adding that the interim analysis is expected in early 2022.

U.S.-listed shares of BioNTech, which along with partner Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) is also developing an mRNA-based influenza vaccine, were down nearly 8%.

Moderna asks investors to wait for full data on flu vaccine amid selloff
 

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Comments (3)
Billy Foos
Billy Foos Dec 12, 2021 11:25AM ET
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They going to fill this vaccine with heavy metals as well? Even Japan refused to administer Modernas covid “vaccine”..
ZS Beck
ZS Beck Dec 10, 2021 9:03PM ET
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Snake oil salesman.Without the Covid, they got 0...
Ayumastura PinkLady
Ayumastura PinkLady Dec 10, 2021 12:22PM ET
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This company is not tht reliable. From ceo to executives. If the data is not yet completed then why did u release it to public? I guess u dont know what u r doing. Now when the price turns upsidedown, i ask us to wait? lol
 
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