Great news from Moderna!
Or is it…
On further reading, this July 15, 2020 articles contains a synopsis of Moderna’s phase I results which was released way back in May, 2020. In effect we have old news recycled as new news with some additional commentary.
We already know that a moderate dose of Moderna’s mRNA is somewhat tolerated and requires two doses, spaced 28 days apart for everyone in the test group to develop neutralizing antibodies to the SARS-Cov2 virus. (Left out is that a higher, single dose of the vaccine was not well tolerated.)
That is the attention grabbing bit that everyone will read and stop at. But if you do go further, the articles states that the level of neutralizing antibodies is only 50% of the level found in people who have recover from Covid19. Other scientists have weighed in and pointed out that we have no idea if this level of antibodies is sufficient to fight off a Covid19 infection.
Think of it this way, 50% of an airplane wing may not be 50% of the planes performance. It might be 0%. This is why we need a phase II trial. We need to know if this mild immune response is protective. It might be or it might not. Furthermore we do not know how long the protection by the Moderna vaccine will last. Some commercial vaccines give you lifelong immunity, in others the immunity decays within a decade, and others still within a year. What is not sold are unsuccessful vaccines which fail within months.
Then we come to this article
Moderna enters phase III trial!?
Before we go further, it is state this trial will be completed on Oct 27, 2022. 2 year, 3 months from now. Rememeber that.
Back to the story, so this news is shocking, awesome and hopeful.. and a bit misleading. You should be asking, where is Moderna’s phase II trial data. I want to see it. How effective is their vaccine? And you won’t find the answer because Moderna has not done a phase II trial yet.
Within the article they refer to the phase I results, which apparently has not been fully released and is missing data on how well tolerated their vaccine is to senior citizens, the age group of people most vulnerable to SARS-Cov2. i would consider this a bit suspicious… as it sounds like a lie by omission. This leaves room to speculate and ask why, perhaps their vaccine was not tolerate or did not produce an immune response in seniors.
Moderna goes on to say that in this trial they will determine if their vaccine is protective against SARS-Cov2 virus and that their study group will be 30,000 people. This is not the character of a phase II trial (too many people) or phase III trial (you already know the vaccine works, you just want to find uncommon side effects). What Moderna is doing is a hybrid phase II/III trial.
In effect Moderna and US health officials have made a gamble. If the vaccine works, they skip the phase II trial (which takes at least 1 year) but if the vaccine doesn't work, a lot people, some 30 thousand volunteers will probably get infected by Covid19. I can only believe this shortcut was allowed by US health authorities because the situation is so dire and the need for a vaccine so desperate.
So do desperate measure mean mordena's vaccine is just around the corner? Well, no. Moderna phase II/III trial will end Oct 27, 2022. Two years, Three months from now.
So here is the part where I advocate Topglove and other glove counters and urge retail investors to be calm. Even if Moderna’s vaccine works, October 27, 2022 is a long time for now. And during this time, theSARS-Cov2 virus will continue to spread and the demand for gloves will grow, even in nations where the virus has been beaten down as reinfection can occur (like Spain or Australia).So don't panic. Keep your shares. Moderna's vaccine is just another vaccine entering phase II/III trials, a trial that will only be completed at the end of 2022.