Fauci Says Moderna's COVID-19 Vaccine to Begin Phase III Trial
Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci indicated that a COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna Inc. (symbol MRNA) will be moving into a Phase III clinical study by the end of this month.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a highly visible member of White House Coronavirus Task Force, said he hoped to see a vaccine for COVID-19 by late this year/early next year.
Is Moderna a good investment? The stock has already gained 232% year-to-date, but is there room for Moderna to move higher? Let's go to the chart to find out.
Moderna exploded higher on May 18 on reports of promising results from its COVID-19 vaccine (point A). A little-known company with no products on the market, Moderna moved quickly to cash in on its sudden popularity.
Hours after the positive report, the company sold 17.6 million shares to the public. The timing of that transaction raised eyebrows, with one former SEC official calling for an investigation. The stock to slid from $80 to $52 (point B).
Since then, Moderna has been drifting sideways and consolidating its earlier gains. Note how the stock's daily volume has been below average since early June (shaded blue). This is normal behavior during a consolidation phase.
Moderna is hugging its 50-day moving average (red), which is acting as short-term support. The stock's MACD (moving average convergence divergence) indicator appears to be on the cusp of flashing a buy signal (shaded yellow).
Phase III trails typically involve thousands of patients and are usually the final major testing phase prior to FDA approval. Moderna's 30,000 patient Phase III trial was supposed to begin earlier this month, but was delayed due to changes in the company's trial plan, or protocol. According to the World Health Organization, there are 18 vaccine candidates currently undergoing evaluation.
Bottom line: Investors should be cautiously bullish on this stock.