If the Moderna company is surely on the way to concretizing a success announced for a decade, many observers point the finger at the latter. They believe that Moderna's sole motivation is the pursuit of profit at any cost.
Moderna Therapeutics is a biotechnology company founded in the United States in 2010 and led by Stéphane Bancel. The French businessman and billionaire also owns 9%. While Moderna has not yet produced any vaccine since its founding , which is now awaiting approval from European authorities for its messenger RNA vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Moreover, this vaccine would be 94.5% effective, although caution is naturally in order.
For many, Moderna is an example of a start-up dedicated to success while working for the good of humanity. Others, on the other hand, believe that this is a company just like any other, whose motivations concern only profit. Obviously, making a profit is specific to private companies, but it is still possible to ask questions. At present, the Covid-19 pandemic embodies a real health and socio-economic disaster while Moderna, like some other companies, has received public aid.
As Ars Technica explains in a January 7, 2021 article, Moderna received the "Shkreli Award". The latter takes the name of Martin Shkreli, having made headlines in 2015 by buying the exclusivity concerning Daraprim, a drug that would be able to fight against AIDS. Then, the person quickly multiplied his price by 5,000% , going from 13.50 to more than 750 dollars! Today, Martin Shkreli is serving a 7-year prison sentence for fraud and stock manipulation.
Created by US think tank Lown Institute, the Shkreli Prize "rewards" the worst examples of enrichment and dysfunctions in the field of health. When Moderna priced its vaccine, it turned out to be the highest of any manufacturer:between $32 and $37 per dose. However, remember that Moderna still received federal funding to the tune of one billion dollars in the United States.
In November 2020, Moderna revised its prices downwards , particularly under public pressure. From now on, it is about thirty dollars for the two doses necessary for each vaccinated person. Nevertheless, the Lown Institute does not let go and castigates Moderna for its greed, a company with no track record in vaccine production.
Let's talk about another dark side of this society. In 2016, the information site STAT News became interested in Stéphane Bancel. The article painted an inglorious portrait of the Moderna CEO:obsessed with ambition and secrecy while exercising radical management. In one year, Stéphane Bancel had laid off more than a dozen of his executives. We should also mention the sidelining of certain scientists or the abandonment of certain projects overnight.