Giving additional credence to the “lab leak” theory, a chunk of DNA found in the coronavirus shares an identical genetic sequence to a sequence patented by Moderna three years prior to the “pandemic.”
In an interview with FOX News host Maria Bartiromo, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel admitted to the possibility that the coronavirus pandemic started after gene modification experiments led to the infection of lab workers. The statements came after Bartiromo asked him to comment on how it is possible that researchers discovered that coronavirus contains DNA with an identical genetic sequence to patents filed by Moderna three years before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Now scientists find the virus contains a tiny chunk of DNA that matches sequence[s] patented by Moderna three years before the pandemic began,” said Bartiromo. “Your reaction Stephane, what can you tell us?”
“My scientists are looking into those data to see how accurate they are or not,” replied Bancel.
“As I’ve said before, the hypothesis that this came from a lab by accident is possible… human[s] make mistakes. It is possible that the Wuhan lab in China was working on virus enhancement, or gene modification, and then there was an accident where somebody was infected… it is possible.”
Regarding whether Moderna is indeed the patent holder to a DNA sequence found in the coronavirus, “the scientists are analyzing [the data] to know if it is real or not,” added the CEO.
According to an analysis of the data by the Daily Mail, the patented sequence appears in the “furin cleavage site located on the virus’ spike protein,” an area of particular interest to scientists as no other known member of the coronavirus family has such a site, and these mechanisms are responsible for the virus’s heightened transmissibility.
Moderna’s patent, filed in February 2016, is part of a gene called MSH3 “that is known to affect how damaged cells repair themselves,” the U.K. outlet noted. According to the filing, the company was deploying the patented sequence for cancer research.
“The international team of researchers suggest the virus may have mutated to have a furin cleavage site during experiments on human cells in a lab,” reported the Daily Mail. “They claim there is a one-in-three-trillion chance Moderna’s sequence randomly appeared through natural evolution.”
The genesis of the coronavirus pandemic has been a hotly contested issue for two years, with initial inquiries into a possible lab leak or intentional manufacturing of the virus being labeled “misinformation” and a “conspiracy theory.”