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Growing calls for release guidelines on market-moving vaccine data 

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Pressure is growing for clear guidelines over the publication of market-moving information around vaccine trials, after Moderna data was briefed out ahead of its official release.

Moderna and Pfizer caused massive share price surges across stock markets earlier this month when they each announced that they were close to launching a vaccine for coronavirus.

There are no formal rules governing the way either publicly listed or privately-owned pharmaceutical companies disseminate clinical trial results.

At present data could be published in a science journal for peer review, unveiled at a conference, or published through the market’s regulatory news service (RNS).

However, one chief executive of a large, listed healthcare company said while different companies take different approaches, market-shifting data should first be made public through the RNS. 

“Generally while data can be hugely important for a specific company, it is not market-moving. But with Covid vaccines, there has never been clinical trial data with more potential to shift markets than the vaccine data we have just seen,” he said.

“The nature of that data is analogous to central bank interest rate decisions. This is a unique situation and raises interesting questions.”

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