At the same time, the company continues to lead in the development of a vaccine against the new coronavirus.
As the U.S. intensifies efforts to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus, friction has erupted between government experts and one of the leading developers, Moderna, Reuters reports..
The federal government is backing Moderna’s vaccine project with nearly half a billion dollars. In addition, the company was one of the first to receive permission to begin large-scale human trials..
However, the company, which has not yet released a single approved vaccine and has not conducted major clinical trials, has clashed with government officials as part of this process, sources close to the situation say. Because of this, the process of starting trials of a potential vaccine had to be delayed by more than two weeks, they said..
Some of these disagreements have given rise to concerns about the fledgling biotech company’s relatively little experience. Sources say with pharmaceutical giants like AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, the government has no similar problems.
Moderna and other vaccine developers work with the US National Institutes of Health and the FDA, as well as immunologists and other vaccine experts tasked with overseeing trial development..
Moderna denies any mistakes on its part, but admits that there are “differences” with the experts. The company insists it has an experienced team of people who have done several major tests..
In particular, the company’s management opposed the recommendations of experts that it is necessary to carefully monitor changes in oxygen levels in patients with COVID-19, which can be a sign of dangerous complications. While other developers are following this recommendation, Moderna believes it will slow down the process, one source said. The company ultimately agreed to follow this procedure..
While the process is not going well, the government and other companies acknowledge that Moderna continues to lead the vaccine race. The firm, founded ten years ago, has outpaced much larger companies. AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson is also preparing for its own large-scale trials, but so far they are lagging behind Moderna in the US..
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The US Department of Health and Human Services says the government’s collaboration with Moderna, as with the rest of the project, is “extremely fruitful.” The agency also notes that the potential Moderna vaccine has shown excellent results in the first trials..
The Ministry of Health refrained from further comments. The National Institutes of Health and the FDA do not comment.