It is possible that two strokes of Modernof (NASDAQ: ARNM) A newly licensed coronavirus vaccine will be sufficient for long-term protection against the global health scourge. Company CEO Stéphane Bancel told a health sector event on Thursday that this was a likely possibility, due to the durability of the antibodies produced by the vaccine.
“The disintegration of antibodies generated by the vaccine in humans is decreasing very slowly,” he said in remarks cited by Reuters. “We think there will potentially be protection for a few years.” He did not offer a more precise time forecast.
He added that “the nightmare scenario that was described in the media in the spring with a vaccine only working for a month or two is, I think, out of the window.”
If Bancel’s estimate is correct, that would make mRNA-1273 – and maybe Pfizer and BioNTechBNT162b2, as well as other vaccines that use similar messenger RNA technology – a much more powerful weapon against the coronavirus than previously imagined. The need for a potent and effective vaccine is particularly acute now, as cases and deaths continue to rise worldwide and a new strain appears to be even more contagious.
Bancel also commented on this strain, saying Moderna was on the verge of proving that mRNA-1273 can be effective against this as well. No further details were provided.
Currently, mRNA-1273 is authorized for use in the United States, United Kingdom, Israel and all 27 members of the European Union. It is almost certain that further clearances from major health regulators will follow, keeping Moderna ahead of or near the coronavirus vaccine ‘race’.
Despite Bancel’s very encouraging statements, Moderna did not have a good trading day on Thursday. It fell 1%, compared to the nearly 1.5% gain in the S&P 500 index.