Moderna Said to Get Israeli Interest in Covid-19 Vaccine

Moderna shares were higher after a report that Israel was mulling a deal to buy its as-yet-unproved covid-19 vaccine.
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Shares of Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Report jumped Monday on a report the Israeli government is eyeing a deal to buy its promising but still unproven Covid-19 vaccine.

Moderna's stock price rose 3.9% to $64.43 on the heels of the report by Israeli news website Ynet. The shares have more than tripled in 2020 to date.

The potential interest by the Israeli government comes with Moderna launching into the late stages of testing mRNA-1273, its potential Covid-19 vaccine.

In a big step forward, Moderna is pushing ahead with plans for a Phase III clinical trial of mRNA-1273 in July, with plans to dose 30,000 volunteers.

Ynet, the Israeli news website, cited unidentified officials in Israel's Health Ministry, saying the country was in final negotiations to acquire the drug. 

Israel is not alone in its interest in covid-19 medications; other governments across the world have been eyeing such investments. The German government agreed to pump hundreds of millions of dollars into CureVac, a company that attracted interest earlier this spring from the U.S. government.

Moderna last week detailed progress on its potential vaccine, noting in a news release it remains on track to produce 500 million doses this year, and another 1 billion a year after that. 

The Cambridge, Mass., company has teamed up with Swiss biotech manufacturer Lonza to produce the doses, which will be rolled out at Lonza facilities in the U.S. and Switzerland.

The trial's primary endpoint will be "the prevention of symptomatic covid-19 disease," Moderna said. Secondary endpoints include preventing hospitalization from covid-19 and the prevention of the virus that causes covid-19, SARS-CoV-2.