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Moderna and IBM Cooperate for 'Smarter Management' of Vaccines

Moderna and IBM will 'explore technologies, including AI, blockchain and hybrid cloud' to improve vaccine management.
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COVID vaccine maker Moderna  (MRNA)  and technology icon IBM  (IBM)  said they’re partnering toward “smarter management” of vaccines against the disease.

The companies said they would “explore technologies, including artificial intelligence, blockchain and hybrid cloud, that could help support smarter COVID-19 vaccine management.”

That includes “a pilot of open, standardized, technology-enabled vaccine distribution approaches aimed to improve supply-chain visibility and foster near-real-time tracking of vaccine administration,” IBM and Moderna said in a statement.

“The aim is to identify ways technology can be used to help accelerate secure, information sharing between governments, health-care providers, life-science organizations and individuals. 

"In so doing, Moderna and IBM seek to improve confidence in vaccine programs and increase rates of vaccination, thereby reducing community spread.”

Shares of Moderna, Cambridge, Mass., recently were little changed at $131.27. They have nearly quintupled over the past year amid optimism about its vaccine.

Stock in IBM, Armonk, N.Y., recently traded at $120.21, down 1.8%. It has slipped 10% in the past year, as the tech giant has struggled in a number of areas.

Last month, Moderna reported a fourth-quarter loss wider than forecasts. Sales were almost double analysts' expectations as it continued to forge ahead with the rollout of its vaccine. Sales totaled $571 million, up from $14 million a year earlier.

Meanwhile, last month reports said IBM was considering selling its unprofitable Watson Health division. 

The company’s potential move came as it lagged behind rivals  (AMZN)   and Microsoft  (MSFT)  in the cloud-computing surge, The Wall Street Journal reported.