Moderna CEO Bancel: Future Covid Vaccine Booster Will Likely Target Omicron Variant

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) CEO Stephane Bancel on CNBCs “Squawk Box” (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) today, Monday, January 10th. Following are links to video on CNBC.com:

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Moderna CEO: We Can Supply Up To 3 Billion Covid Vaccine Booster Doses This Year

And as you understand, the real-world proof information has actually really shown extremely strongly and you see it in all the OECD nation where its actually, you understand, mRNA vaccines being utilized, that the Moderna vaccine show really strong period of efficacy and thats truly crucial to secure individuals.
If you look at the supply of vaccine, it is true that for around you understand to two-third to three-quarter of 2021 to around September, October, the world was supply constrained with vaccine. Indeed, Meg, you know, for teens, you understand, we have actually a vaccine authorized in many countries however the United States. BANCEL: Sure so as you understand Meg, you understand, mRNA is a platform. Flu, of course, is extremely well understood however RSV, and lots of other viruses that are not really well known to the public because the signs are comparable to influenza where we believe the world deserves the single annual booster that contains all those various vaccines in a single dose against influenza, versus RSV, versus COVID with the ideal adaptation to the pressures circulating thats here, and thats what were working towards.

Its the markets biggest health care financial investments seminar and it will be virtual as soon as again this year due to the fact that of issues about that Omicron variation. Meg Tirrell joins us right now with a special visitor ahead of the conference kickoff.
MEG TIRRELL: Good morning, Becky. Thats Stéphane Bancel, the CEO of Moderna. Stéphane, thanks for being with us this early morning starting our J.P. Morgan protection. You understand, simply hearing from Eunice there, the entire world naturally captured up in Omicron right now. What can you tell us about what the world looks like from where you sit about whether were going to require to upgrade the vaccines to Omicron? What the future of our next possible dose appears like? When we might be getting that? What does it appear like from where you sit?
STÉPHANE BANCEL: Good morning, Meg. As weve shared just recently, we are extremely happy that the effectiveness of our vaccine holds extremely well against Omicron for people that got the third dose and so I would really encourage anyone who has actually not gotten the third dosage or has buddy or family who only got two doses or god forbid have not been vaccinated to get safeguarded due to the fact that the real world proof information, like the data released weekly by the UK reveals a very, extremely strong security and thats a piece that offers us a lot of hope. You understand, we have actually been really fortunate in 2021 to help hundreds of millions of people. You understand, we shipped 807 million doses around the world. Were really pleased that around 25% of those doses are being supplied to middle-income and low-income nations. And this morning, we reported that all sales are going to be around, you understand, $17.5 billion, we obviously need to be completely audited in the coming weeks.
TIRRELL: And so, do you anticipate that at some point this year the decision will be made to need to update the vaccines? At what point will we understand how frequently were going to need another dosage. What does the future appear like, as much as you can tell?
BANCEL: Sure, so once again, with biology and this virus, all of us want to be extremely modest. As you understand, were working really actively on an Omicron particular vaccine as a booster. That ought to remain in the center really quickly and we are talking about with public health leaders worldwide to decide what we think is the best method for a possible booster for the fall of 2022. Our company believe it will include Omicron mRNA but do we require to include any other parts. That needs to be talked about since we require to be cautious to attempt to stay ahead of an infection and not behind the infection. But its fascinating Meg is if you take a look at governments around the globe who are quite looking into 2022. You know, on our making contact November 4, we said that our signed APAs were $17 billion that we had choices for as much as $3 billion and we were reporting today at J.P. Morgan that we are increasing those expectations due to the fact that countries have been putting a lot of orders. Our signed APAs with upfront payments are now for $18.5 billion. Recently the UK, Switzerland, you know, South Korea have purchased for the fall of 22. And now the options are being increased from 3 billion back in November to 3.5 billion and they are discussions continuous every day. We have a lot of countries who wish to be ready with the very best item possible for fall of 22. And as you know, the real-world proof data has actually revealed very highly and you see it in all the OECD nation where its truly, you understand, mRNA vaccines being utilized, that the Moderna vaccine show very strong period of effectiveness and thats truly crucial to secure people.
TIRRELL: So, these orders are for the fall of 2022 and can be essentially whatever vaccine construct is considered most suitable at that time however essentially speaking about increasing nearly like we do seasonally with, with flu shots it sounds like. On the other hand, the World Health Organization has actually set a goal of vaccinating 70% of the world by July whichs unfortunately a pushback goal from when they had set, you know, to do it in 2015. Do you think its practical that we can reach that objective by this summer? And exists more that Moderna could do to contribute to that?
If you look at the supply of vaccine, it is true that for around you understand to two-third to three-quarter of 2021 to around September, October, the world was supply constrained with vaccine. You know, I share that in November we had any given day of the week between 50 and 100 million doses waiting to be shipped to low-income countries and theres been a lot of concerns on the circulation and release of those vaccines. And Ive heard from my colleagues, you understand, our vaccine business the same thing.
You pointed out that you have contracts that are prepared to go with South Korea, the United Kingdom and Switzerland I think for vaccines to be prepared for the fall of this year. Will, will there be lacks or will every country that wants them be able to get them at that point?
BANCEL: Thats a fantastic question, Becky, so let me just begin with supply initially. Were in a really various situation that we were in 2015. In the last year, we were ramping up the supply chain, developing the manufacturing capabilities, and if you take a look at the output that we had in Q4 with 300 million doses that was our highest quarter ever. You know, as a pointer, in Q1 we supplied 100 million doses. And we have a lot of brand-new capability coming online in Q1 of this year. And so, we think we can provide 2 to 3 billion doses of boosters this year. And if you look at the numbers I pointed out the 18.5 billion of already signed orders for 2022 and $3.5 billion of alternatives, they are mostly front packed in the very first half of the year. They is still a great deal of capacity readily available for the fall. And as I state there was a lot of conversations ongoing, consisting of with the United States government.
TIRRELL: And Stéphane, where do things stand with a vaccine for kids from Moderna, you understand, with Pfizers getting delayed to some level by a few months, there is a gap in coverage in the United States for kids under five. Moderna, naturally, is still awaiting clearance for under 18. And you, you need data for, you understand, kids because midlife group but I question due to the fact that there is that space in coverage, where do your information stand in regards to the timing of getting that and could Moderna possibly assist fill that gap if your results are various from Pfizers and you get them earlier?
BANCEL: Yes. So undoubtedly, Meg, you know, for teens, you understand, we have a vaccine approved in a lot of countries however the US. We ought to get extremely quickly information in the more youthful children that do not have access to the vaccine today. We of course in actually discussions with the FDA numerous times a week. The company is extremely up to date through the data and the timing of the data. As soon as we have the data, naturally, well share it and we are as constantly hopeful that we can help do our part and assistance protect as many individuals as we can.
ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Hey Stéphane, I have 2 concerns. One associates with targeting Omicron in terms of the next booster, there appears to be some debate in the scientific neighborhood about whether if you do that you effectively develop or up the odds if you will that we really get a new variation on top of it instead of dealing with the, the preliminary and I need to admit I dont understand the, the science along with I should, the initial method to this with Alpha. Can you speak with that?
BANCEL: Sure. I believe once again, with biology, we all want to be modest. We do not know what we dont know. The way I believe about it Andrew is number one, as we see, sadly, many individuals are being affected as we speak. That is a terrific chance for a virus to mutate, provided actually, I think several billions of individuals were going to get infected with symptoms or without symptoms with Omicron. What we have actually discovered over the last, you understand, year with vaccines offered to the general public and weve real-world proof is that if you have very high reducing the effects of antibodies, you can prevent infection from person to individual. Whichs a bit the technique thats occurring with Omicron is because theres been such a big hereditary shift from the initial virus to Omicron that really the defense against infection person to individual is actually not as excellent as it was with the previous variants therefore we personally think at Moderna that doing the next generation booster consisting of the Omicron series is going to be necessary not just to educate the body immune system to those brand-new mutation, however particularly to protect infection between different people.
TIRRELL: I wasnt sure if Andrew had a second question there however Stéphane, Ill take it here. You understand, we are asking you a lot about your vaccine, obviously, because were in the thick of it right now and its still going to be necessary certainly for a long period of time to come. Youre working on other things. You revealed a deal today in oncology. I think a lot of questions from financiers at the conference today for you is going to be about your, your valuation and what youve got beyond the COVID vaccine. What should we see from Moderna this year, what should we anticipate in terms of seeing a lot of those other mRNA focused tasks coming to fulfillment?
BANCEL: Sure so as you know Meg, you understand, mRNA is a platform. Flu, of course, is extremely well known however RSV, and many other infections that are not really well understood to the public due to the fact that the symptoms are similar to influenza where we think the world should have the single annual booster that contains all those different vaccines in a single dosage versus influenza, versus RSV, versus COVID with the ideal adjustment to the stress distributing thats here, and thats what were working towards. Weve announced so far, you know, a 10-year arrangement with Canada, but were developing a plant in Canada for respiratory vaccines adaptation to the Canadian pressure.
SORKIN: Two last quick questions. One is offered how rapidly sadly, it appears that the boosters and the vaccine lessen in time. I understand were speaking about the fall. There are a great deal of individuals who have taken this in September and October, November if not earlier than that which indicates that they would be going efficiently six months without and so are you recommending individuals or would you recommend people to attempt to get it earlier? So someone who took it in I do not understand September, October, I believe I took mine in November, however you d be pushed out efficiently to May or possibly June instead of waiting until say September, October, November of this year?
What is crucial to remember is you know reducing the effects of antibodies are really crucial to safeguard you, of course, and those reduce with time but those are your T cells, the memory part of your immune system is essential to prepare against severe illness. The other piece too is if you look at the information from the UK and South Africa, it seems that the Omicron wave, due to the fact that its so contagious, is going to go really rapidly, is going to go up very, very high really quickly and going to go down quite rapidly. And due to the fact that so lots of people are getting contaminated, they are building a resistance, they also understand improving the immune response.
TIRRELL: Alright, Stéphane, we actually value you being with us this early morning to assist us kick off our J.P. Morgan conference coverage. Thanks so much.
BANCEL: Thank you.
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