- Moderna stock surged as much as 16% early Thursday after the company announced its coronavirus vaccine candidate received FDA approval for phase 2 trials.
- The biotech firm is preparing for a phase 3 study to begin in the early summer with the goal of marketing the drug as early as 2021, according to a Thursday statement.
- The Thursday rally places Moderna shares at a record high and up about 140% from their December 2018 IPO price.
- Watch Moderna trade live here.
Moderna shares soared as much as 16% in early Thursday trading after the company announced the Food and Drug Administration approved its experimental coronavirus vaccine for a phase 2 trial.
The clearance represents a “crucial step forward” for mRNA-1273, the biotech firm’s leading candidate to combat the pandemic. Moderna plans for phase 3 trials to begin early in the summer with the goal of marketing the vaccine as soon as 2021, according to the Thursday release.
Moderna announced a 10-year partnership with pharmaceutical giant Lonza on Friday to accelerate the development of mRNA-1273. Lonza will help produce up to 1 billion doses of the vaccine per year if it ultimately gains regulatory approval, the companies said in a statement.
“We are accelerating manufacturing scale-up and our partnership with Lonza puts us in a position to make and distribute as many vaccine doses of mRNA-1273 as possible, should it prove to be safe and effective,” CEO Stephane Bancel said.
The Thursday rally places Moderna shares at a record high and up roughly 140% from their December 2018 initial-public-offering price.
Several biotech firms have seen their shares surge on positive updates for their coronavirus treatments. Gilead enjoyed healthy gains through the end of April amid optimistic reports on its remdesivir compound. The experimental drug is meant to treat cases of COVID-19, while Moderna’s vaccine aims to inoculate against the related coronavirus.
Moderna’s vaccine was the first to enter phase 1 human trials, and the two companies are racing to introduce the first viable drug to combat COVID-19.
Moderna closed at $US48.95 per share on Wednesday, up roughly 157% year-to-date.
Now read more markets coverage from Markets Insider and Business Insider:
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.