The CEO of Moderna believes it's'reasonable' to think the pandemic may be in its final stages.
- Stephane Bancel, the CEO of Moderna, thinks it is "reasonable" to assume that we may be approaching the final stages of the pandemic.
- "I believe there's an 80% likelihood that as omicron or the SarsCov-2 virus evolves, we'll see fewer and less virulent viruses," he said on "Squawk Box Asia." He also mentioned a "20 percent possibility" in which a new mutation emerges that is "more pathogenic than omicron."
- Throughout a separate announcement, the corporation stated that it intends to grow its presence in Asia.
Stephane Bancel, the CEO of Moderna, thinks it is "reasonable" to assume that we may be approaching the final stages of the pandemic.
When asked about reports that the Covid-19 pandemic is nearing its end, he told "Squawk Box Asia," "I think it is a fair scenario."
"An 80% possibility exists that when omicron or the SarsCov-2 virus evolves, we will see fewer and fewer virulent viruses," he stated on Wednesday.
He also mentioned a "20 percent possibility" in which a new mutation emerges that is "more pathogenic than omicron."
"I believe we were fortunate as a globe in that omicron was not particularly virulent," he continued, "but thousands of people are dying every day throughout the world as a result of omicron."
15.47 million new cases have been reported worldwide in the last seven days, with 73,162 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.
The importance of Asia is one of the reasons we wish to expand there. The reality that this virus will not go away... this virus will be with people indefinitely, much like flu, and we will have to learn to live with it.
- Stephane Bancel CEO, MODERNA
Some studies have shown that, while the omicron variation appears to be more contagious, it does not make individuals sick as much as the delta strain.
Health officials have also stated that the threat posed by omicron may be diminishing.
However, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the president of the World Health Organization, warned in January that assuming the pandemic is nearing its finale is risky. In fact, he claims it's "far from over," warning that as omicron spreads fast over the world, other variations will inevitably develop.
Last month, White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said it's still a "open question" whether the omicron variety will be the pandemic's final wave.
Moderna said in January that it has begun a clinical trial to assess the safety and efficacy of a booster shot that targets the omicron variety.
The first participant in the trial has already received a dosage of the omicron-specific booster shot, according to the company. It aims to enrol roughly 600 adults, ages 18 and above, who will be split into two groups.
Asia expansion plans
Moderna, on the other hand, has declared plans to expand its footprint in Asia.
"We want to expand in Asia because of the importance of the region," he said.
"The fact that this virus isn't going away, as we've been saying virtually since the beginning — this virus will stay with people forever, like flu, and we'll have to live with it."
The company plans to build new subsidiaries in Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong, according to Bancel, who finds Asia's economic progress "extremely fascinating."
Moderna said in a statement that it is expanding to "continue to scale up the manufacturing and distribution of its COVID-19 vaccine and future mRNA vaccines and medicines."
In Hong Kong, where Covid instances have lately increased, Moderna's messenger RNA vaccine is presently unavailable. The corporation is currently "working with authorities to get it authorised," according to Bancel.