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Moderna (MRNA) stock rocketed today after the biotech company dosed the first patient in a study of its coronavirus vaccine. The drug aims to use a natural function called messenger RNA to protect against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19.
American pharmaceutical company Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) stock started rising yesterday and kept their pace today as well. Yesterday, the MRNA price jumped over 24%. Today Moderna stock continued moving higher. The stock has managed to jump another 19.91% to $31.76. At the moment of writing, it is trading a little bit lower, at $27,84.
Investors are thoroughly watching all the news related to companies that are fighting to develop a coronavirus vaccine. Moderna announced yesterday that the first patient has been dosed in an early-stage clinical study for its experimental novel coronavirus vaccine mRNA-1273.
Preparing for Phase 2
Moderna Chief Medical Officer Tal Zaks said the biotech company is already planning a Phase 2 study.
“This study is the first step in the clinical development of an mRNA vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, and we expect it to provide important information about safety and immunogenicity (the ability to provoke an immune response in the body).”
This represents the important step in the development of the overall health sector especially since, earlier today, president of the Robert Koch Institute Lothar Wieler said that the coronavirus pandemic could last up to two years, with the virus spreading in phases.
“The pandemic is developing in waves. We know this is exactly the case. But how fast are these waves? And when will this pandemic infect the projected 60-70% of the world’s population? This can take years. We project it to be two years.”
While Moderna’s shares grew higher today and yesterday, the biotech stock will probably be among those who are volatile. As the NIH proceeds with the phase 1 study, Moderna is, as mentioned, preparing for a potential phase 2 study that it would conduct on its own. The NIH study isn’t scheduled to wrap up, however, until June 2021.
Chinese Companies Entering the Game
On the other hand, earlier in the day, a report suggested that Chinese epidemiologists have developed the COVID-19 vaccine, which will soon launch clinical trials in China.
It is reported that German biotechnology company BioNTech and Chinese pharmaceutical firm Fosun Pharma are set to start clinical tests and trials for the coronavirus vaccine in China by late April.
BioNTech said in a statement:
“Fosun Pharma will commercialize the vaccine in China upon regulatory approval, with BioNTech retaining full rights to develop and commercialize the vaccine in the rest of the world.”
Fosun Pharma will pay up to $135 million in upfront and potential future investment and milestone payments to the German company while the two firms will share future gross profits from the sale of the vaccine in China.
The worldwide outbreak has sickened nearly 188,630 people and left more than 7,500 dead. The death toll in the United States is more than 90, while infections rose to about 4,752 across 49 states and the District of Columbia.
According to the latest information, China has 80,881 overall infected people with 68,715 of them being recovered. The death toll in the country reached 3,226. As per Europe, the country with the most infected cases is Italy. It has 27,980 infected people among whom 2,749 are fully recovered. However, the death toll in the country reached 2,158. Spain has also the big number of infected people – 11,409 and has reported 509 death cases from which 167 happened in the last 24 hours.