Moderna’s Phase III clinical trial of its coronavirus vaccine candidate has been delayed, according to Damian Garde in STAT. The 30,000-patient trial was expected to begin next week on July 9, but the company is making changes to the trial protocol.
CEO Stéphane Bancel told CNBC that the company is still targeting July to begin the trial, but he didn’t respond to queries posed by STAT.
While protocol changes to clinical trials are common, Moderna and others pursuing a vaccine for the deadly virus are under unprecedented scrutiny and time pressure. Any delay in the process puts Moderna’s lead in the race to a vaccine in jeopardy.
Yesterday, German biotech firm BioNTech announced encouraging preliminary data from its vaccine candidate, which is being developed in partnership with Pfizer.
Moderna shares are down 6.4% to $57.68 at 2:05pm ET.