A dark pool trade was detected in MRNA stock on Friday, September 25, 2020.
Make sure to review this lesson on dark pool trading so that you understand the chart above.
The dark pool trade looks like a sell order because of how the price of MRNA stock immediately fell after the print.
Earlier in the week, an FDA official recused herself from the committee’s review of coronavirus vaccines due to her role overseeing a clinical trial for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
It looks like a large player holding MRNA stock decided to sell the stock over the dark pool in the wake of the recusal. That to me suggests that a well connected individual or corporation bought MRNA stock because of the ties Moderna had with the FDA’s vaccine advisory committee.
Hana El Sahly, associate professor of virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston who heads the FDA’s vaccine advisory committee, has recused herself from the committee’s review of coronavirus vaccines due to her role overseeing a clinical trial for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, Reuters’ Dan Levine and Marisa Taylor report, citing the physician’s spokeswoman. Two months ago, El Sahly was named one of three lead investigators for Moderna’s late-stage coronavirus vaccine trial, creating a possible conflict of interest, the authors say, noting that Moderna has said it could have enough data to show whether its vaccine is safe and effective as soon as November. Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-vaccines-fda-exclu/exclusive-top-adviser-steps-aside-from-fda-covid-19-vaccine-reviews-over-potential-conflict-idUSKCN26E3IW
On September 22, 2020, the news came out that seeking to increase transparency and public trust as it approaches the decision of whether a prospective COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective, the Food and Drug Administration is expected to spell out a tough, new standard for an emergency authorization of a coronavirus vaccine as soon as this week, according to the Washington Post’s Laurie McGinley and Carolyn Y. Johnson. The new rules “will make it exceedingly difficult for any vaccine to be cleared before Election Day,” according to the report. Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/09/22/fda-covid-vaccine-approval-standard/
Also on September 22, 2020, Moderna, Inc., (Nasdaq: MRNA) announced the Canadian Government has increased its confirmed order commitment to 20 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine candidate against COVID-19, mRNA-1273.
This updated agreement comes as Moderna’s Phase 3 COVE study has enrolled more than 75% of its participants, 11,879 of whom have received their second vaccination as of September 18, 2020. To provide additional transparency in the context of the pandemic, the Company also made the complete, unredacted protocol for the Phase 3 trial of mRNA-1273 available online on Thursday, September 17.
“We appreciate the confidence in Moderna’s mRNA platform and the progress we are making with mRNA-1273, as demonstrated by the increased order from the Canadian government today,” said Stephane Bancel, Moderna’s Chief Executive Officer. “This support, along with that of our stakeholders, drives us forward as we scale-up our global manufacturing and distribution network.”
Moderna remains on track to be able to deliver up to 56 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to help protect Canadians beginning in 2021. The Canadian vaccine supply will be sourced from Moderna’s European production capacity with its strategic manufacturing partner Lonza of Switzerland, and ROVI of Spain for fill-finish services.