(Reuters) – As the United States accelerates the search for a coronavirus vaccine, tensions have erupted between government scientists and Moderna Inc, one of the leading developers, Reuters has learned.
The federal government is supporting Moderna’s vaccine project with nearly half a billion dollars and has chosen it as one of the first to enter large-scale human trials.
But the company – which has never produced an approved vaccine or run a large trial – has squabbled with government scientists over the process, delayed delivering trial protocols and resisted experts’ advice on how to run the study, according to three sources familiar with the vaccine project. The sources said those tensions, which have not been previously reported, have contributed to a delay of more than two weeks in launching the trial of the Moderna’s vaccine candidate, now expected in late July.
Moderna “could be on schedule if they were more cooperative,” one of the sources told Reuters.
Some of the disagreements have stoked concerns over the young biotech firm’s relative inexperience and what the sources described as its lack of staff and expertise to oversee the most critical phase of human trials. The U.S. government is not facing similar problems with established drugmakers, such as AstraZeneca Plc and Johnson & Johnson, working on other leading vaccine candidates, the sources said.
The best of the Muslim Times’ collection for war against Covid 19:
In this day and age, understanding bacteria and viruses and developing vaccines are national security issues. In my view sizable part of every country’s defense budget should be spent in these pursuits rather than making tanks and other weapons.
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DAILY NEW CASES AND DEATHS IN US, CDC SITE