Today, Moderna has announced interim analysis data suggesting its mRNA-1273 is 94.5% effective.
FDA required that the vaccine have an efficacy rate of at least 50%.
The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines could enter clinical use within weeks, said Michael Breen, director of infectious diseases and ophthalmology at GlobalData over email. The “path forward for other developers now remains unclear,” Breen said. The expectation that vaccines have an efficacy of 90% or greater could lead to an earlier-than-expected winnowing of the field.
But there still could be an appetite for vaccines with inferior efficacy in some geographies as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines may not be widely available internationally, leading some regions to “go with their best vaccine option at the time,” Breen said.
In late morning trading, Pfizer shares tumbled nearly 4% while Moderna stock jumped 8.5%.
Moderna’s vaccine uses an mRNA delivery platform with stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike immunogen (S-2P).
Moderna’s Phase 3 COVE trial has more than 30,000 volunteers spread across 100 research sites in the U.S. The company launched the study on July 27.
From that pool, at least 95 participants have contracted symptomatic COVID-19, with only five of those from the vaccinated arm. A total of 11 patients acquired severe COVID-19 from the placebo group, while no patients from the vaccinated pool did.
The high efficacy rate could persuade the public to receive vaccines, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In a Bloomberg interview on Nov. 14, Fauci said that Pfizer’s vaccine has “an extraordinarily high degree of efficacy — more than 90%, close to 95%.”
On Monday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told CNBC that FDA would move “as quickly as possible” to clear Moderna’s and Pfizer’s vaccines for emergency use.
Pfizer hopes to produce 50 million vaccine doses by the end of this year and 1.3 billion in 2021. Moderna estimates that it can produce 500 million to 1 billion doses next year.