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Moderna (MRNA) stock price keeps rising today. Dr. Anthony Fauci is rather optimistic about the coronavirus vaccine candidate that is being developed by Moderna.
The beginning of this week was marked with news that Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) Covid-19 vaccine candidate — the frontrunner in the American market — seemed to be generating an immune response in Phase 1 trial subjects. The company’s rocketed, hitting $29 billion, an astonishing feat for a company that currently actually doesn’t sell anything.
Still, was there a good reason for celebrating the happy news? Few vaccine experts stated that there’s really no way to know how impressive, or not, the vaccine could be.
While Moderna shined the media, it revealed very little information, and most of what it did disclose was words, not data. That’s important because, if you, for example ask scientists to read a journal article, they will watch mostly at data tables, not corporate statements. With science, numbers speak much louder than words.
The World Is Waiting to Restore Sence of Normalcy, MRNA Stock Up
Piper Sandler biotech analyst Ted Tenthoff however is convinced that the coronavirus vaccine being developed by Moderna (MRNA) could be “just the tip of the iceberg” for this biotech company.
“While it’s addressing an unmet, and just a massive, need in the world right now, it is also really an investment that goes to expand the company’s platform.”
He added that while the world is waiting for a coronavirus vaccine that could restore a sense of normalcy, some of Moderna’s appeal lies in the science behind the MRNA vaccine.
“The key thing about the Moderna approach is it’s modular. You have the same delivery”
Moderna (MRNA) stock was growing by 2.69% to $68.86 at the time of writing.
Fast Development Timeline for MRNA Coronavirus Vaccine
However, when we mentioned above the lack of concrete data, one of the reasons, says Tenthoff, lays in the fact that the vaccine had an extremely fast development timeline.
“What I think critics were saying is, ‘why didn’t they report all the data?’ They’re moving as fast as they can here. The goal is to get a vaccine to the public as quickly as possible.”
The potential vaccine still has a long way to go. This particularly means that the FDA still hasn’t approved a vaccine based on messenger RNA. However, Tenthoff claims the testing timeline could move pretty much fast, with a Phase II study set to begin this quarter, and Phase III trials starting as early as July.
“It would be a very fast turnaround to get that available to the public early next year. We have to see the data from each of these steps, but that would really be kind of a best-case scenario.”
Moderna, which went to a partnership with vaccine manufacturer Lonza Group AG (SWX: LONN) in early May, expects to have the possibility to produce one billion doses a year. Tenthoff said that at two doses per patient, “they could cover the entire United States by next year. But there is obviously global demand beyond what just Moderna is doing”
Fauci Advises to be Cautious
Today, U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Dr Anthony Fauci said that it is ok to be optimistic but people should be cautious as well. Speaking to CNBC, Fauci said a lot of companies around the world are working on vaccine development and added that positive data from Moderna’s first vaccine trials is “encouraging.”
“I think it is conceivable if we don’t run into things that are, as they say, unanticipated setbacks, that we could have a vaccine that we could be beginning to deploy at the end of this calendar year, December 2020 or into January 2021,” stated he.