- Biotech company Moderna jumped as much as 22% on Tuesday after the firm shipped the first coronavirus vaccine for phase one testing in the US.
- Moderna submitted vials of mRNA-1273 to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for human testing, aiming to introduce the first preventative vaccine for the spreading virus.
- The company was able to deliver its first batch to trial just 42 days after identifying the key RNA sequence to target, according to a press release.
- Watch Moderna trade live here.
Moderna surged as much as 22% Tuesday morning after the biotech company shipped the first coronavirus vaccine for human testing.
The firm submitted vials of mRNA-1273 to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for a phase one study in the US, according to a press release. Moderna is the first company to push a preventative vaccine for the outbreak to trial.
The company was able to deliver the first batch just 42 days after identifying the key RNA sequence to target, Juan Andres, chief technical operations and quality officer, said. Andres attributed the quick turnaround to collaboration between Moderna, NIAID, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.
Moderna shares pared some gains through Tuesday’s session, trading 13% higher at 11:10 a.m. ET.
The Monday announcement arrived as President Trump called on Congress to approve $US2.5 billion in funding for coronavirus vaccines, treatment, and preventative supplies. The US is host to 53 coronavirus cases, though the Centres for Disease Control still considers virus risk in the country to be relatively low.
Moderna’s spike arrives one day after biotech firm Gilead posted a similar gain. The company soared as much as 11% on Monday after a World Health Organisation official said its remdesivir compound may be the best bet at treating coronavirus. Gilead’s drug is undergoing human trials in Beijing, with results expected in April. Remdesivir aims to treat the virus, while Moderna’s vaccine would prevent individuals from contracting it.
Coronavirus is responsible for more than 2,700 deaths and has infected more than 80,000 people as of Tuesday morning. The disease broke out in Wuhan, China before spreading throughout the country. New outbreaks in Iran, Italy, and South Korea ratcheted up fears of the outbreak becoming a fatal pandemic.
Moderna traded at $US20.97 per share as of 11:10 a.m. ET Tuesday, up about 12% year-to-date.
The company has 10 “buy” ratings, no “hold” ratings, and no “sell” ratings from analysts, with a consensus price target of $US29.75, according to Bloomberg data.
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