Moderna’s CEO Stefan Bansel said it was “reasonable” to assume that we may be nearing the final stage of a pandemic.
“I think it’s a smart scenario,” he told CNBC.Squawk Box Asia“When asked that the Covid-19 pandemic may now be in its final stages.
“There is an 80% chance that as omicron or SarsCov-2 virus evolves we will see fewer and fewer virulent viruses,” he said on Wednesday.
He also said there is another “20% scenario when we see the next mutation that is more viral than omicron”.
“I think we’re lucky in the world that the omicron wasn’t very harmful, but we still see thousands of people dying every day across the planet because of the amicron,” he said.
According to the World Health Organizationover the past seven days, 15.47 million new cases and 73,162 deaths have been reported worldwide over the same period.
In January Announced Moderna it has launched a clinical trial to study the safety and effectiveness of an amplifier that specifically targets the omicron variant.
According to the company, the first participant in the test has already received a dose of omicron-specific booster. It is estimated that it will enroll about 600 adult participants over the age of 18, who will be divided between the two groups.
Separately Moderna announced plans expand its presence in Asia.
“The reason we want to expand in Asia is the importance of the region,” he told CNBC.
“The fact that this virus will not disappear, as we have said almost from the beginning – this virus will stay with people forever, like the flu, and we will have to live with it.”
Bansel said he found Asia’s economic expansion “very exciting” and that the company intends to open new subsidiaries in Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong.
The expansion comes as Moderna “continues to increase production and distribution of its vaccine against COVID-19 and future mRNA vaccines and therapeutics,” the US biotech company said in a statement.
Moderna’s RNA vaccine is currently not available in Hong Kong, where recently a outbreak of Covid cases. Bansel said the company is currently “working with the authorities to get permission.”