MRNA Stock Up 10%, Moderna CEO Says Supply of Coronavirus Vaccine Will Be Limited

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by Teuta Franjkovic · 4 min read
MRNA Stock Up 10%, Moderna CEO Says Supply of Coronavirus Vaccine Will Be Limited
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It has become known that the supply of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine will be limited and the U.S. government will help to choose who will be the first to get it. Meanwhile, today Moderna (MRNA) stock is around 10% up.

As we have already written, biotech company Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) has come one step closer to finding a COVID-19 vaccine. As Moderna has said, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved its mRNA-1273 vaccine for phase 2 human trial. According to the company, this step will be “crucial” for vaccine development. The company is also planning to begin phase 3 trial as early as this summer.

Meanwhile, Moderna (MRNA) stock was up around 9.51%, at $58.25 which a new all-time high. The market cap is $19.17B.

Be that as it may, the company’s CEO Stephane Bancel says that if Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine proves effective (and efficient for that matter), the company expects to work “very closely” with the U.S. government in order to decide who will get the first doses.

There Won’t Be Enough mRNA Vaccine for Everyone

The company said on Thursday that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared its potential vaccine for a phase 2 trial, something the company calls a “crucial step.” Moderna is upraising its production capacity along the approval so it can immediately allot doses in case their vaccine proves effective against the virus and safe for human kind.

If that happens, the company still won’t directly have enough for everyone, Bancel claims.

He said:

“We will all be supply constrained for quite some time, meaning we won’t be able to make as many product as will be required to vaccinate everyone on the planet.”

Last week, Moderna announced a 10-year partnership with Swiss drugmaker Lonza to speed up manufacturing of the experimental vaccine. Bancel then told media that the company hopes to begin production of the potential vaccine “as early as July.”

He also noted that with this partnership, the company hopes to focus on enabling itself to produce approximately 1 billion doses per year. Planet Earth has over 7.6 billion people.

Collaboration with U.S. Government in Triage

Bancel commented today that the company will also cooperate with the U.S. government to find out who get the first dosage of the cure.

He explains:

“In the case of the U.S., we anticipate to work very closely with the government and with key medical officials to decide who gets the vaccine in the first batch. And then when you have the next batch to ship to the government, how do we allocate it between health care workers, people who are high risk and different geographies where you have more cases.”

BARDA, a part of the Department of Health and Human Services, last month got Moderna an award of $483 million in funding to speed up the growth of the Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

The potential vaccine, which was developed by researchers at Moderna and the National Institutes of Health, became the first candidate to enter a phase 1 human trial in March. The company still hasn’t reported the results of the phase 1 trial. However, it received federal approval to start a larger phase 2 trial soon. Bancel confirmed that the phase 3 trial will probably begin in the early summer.

More Than One Company Should Step In

The vaccine candidate uses synthetic messenger RNA to inject against the virus. Such treatments help the body protect itself against a virus and can eventually be developed and produced in a faster manner than it’s the case with the traditional vaccines.

The vaccine developing rally is fiercely competitive and investors are watching closely for any signs of progress on treatments and vaccines. Bancel said that more than one company will have to step into the game in order for coronavirus to be beaten. According to the latest information, virus has infected more than 3.95 million people around the world and killed at least 271,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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Teuta Franjkovic
Author: Teuta Franjkovic

Experienced creative professional focusing on financial and political analysis, editing daily newspapers and news sites, economical and political journalism, consulting, PR and Marketing. Teuta’s passion is to create new opportunities and bring people together.

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