Moderna CEO disputes report it didn't release enough coronavirus vaccine data

Moderna's stock dropped Tuesday after surging 25% on Monday

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Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel on Wednesday responded to a report that questioned the results of the company's early-stage study of a coronavirus vaccine.

Moderna said in a Monday press release that its experimental vaccine produced antibodies that neutralized the virus in eight patients, but two prominent vaccine researchers told medical news website Stat News that the company withheld crucial information in its report, and more information is needed before scientists can draw legitimate conclusions from the experiment.

Bancel told FOX Business' "Mornings with Maria" that the Stat News report disclosed the same information that Moderna disclosed in its press release.

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MRNAMODERNA INC.74.10+0.34+0.46%

"We said on Monday this is an interim Phase 1 study and it was a small number of subjects," Bancel said. "This is top-line data. It will be published very soon. We are talking weeks, not months."

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The major stock market averages all gained at least 2.4 percent on Monday, in part due to the positive vaccine news from Moderna. But investors sold shares of the drugmaker Tuesday amid questions that the trial data was not comprehensive enough.

Bancel

Bancel said the findings of the study, which was led by the National Institutes of Health and has yet to be peer-reviewed, are "interim data" and that "it's a small data set ... but, they are encouraging data."

Phase 2 of the vaccine trial will include hundreds, and Phase 3 will include "many thousands," the CEO said.

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Vice President Mike Pence said Monday that NIAID Director Anthony Fauci expressed optimism toward the vaccine during a phone call with the administration and state governors.

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"In our call with Governors today, Dr. Fauci shared exciting news from biotech company, Moderna!" Pence tweeted. "The first potential Coronavirus vaccine has shown promising results in a clinical trial. 45 participants received 2 doses of the vaccine & all 45 produced antibodies."

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Jonathan Garber contributed to this report.