Moderna Shares Soar Following Positive Data From Phase 1 Coronavirus Vaccine Study

National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci said data from the study looks "really quite good" and noted there were "no serious side effects" among the 45 patient volunteers.

Moderna Inc.  (MRNA) - Get Report shares surged higher Wednesday after the drugmaker reported uniformly positive data from an early trial of its experimental coronavirus vaccine.

Moderna said the phase 1 trial of MRNA-1273, its proposed coronavirus vaccine candidate, induced antibody reactions in all 45 patient participants, with no serious side-effects, following two injections spanning a four week period. The results open the door to a larger study of some 30,000 patients, set to being on July 27, and follow on from the positive results in vaccine studies reported earlier this week by drugmaker Pfizer Inc.  (PFE) - Get Report.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci said the data looked "really quite good", and highlight the fact that patients only suffered mild side effects from the injection, such as headaches, fever and fatigue.  

"These positive Phase 1 data are encouraging and represent an important step forward in the clinical development of mRNA-1273, our vaccine candidate against COVID-19, and we thank the NIH for their ongoing collaboration," said CEO Stephane Bancel. "The Moderna team continues to focus on starting our Phase 3 study this month and, if successful, filing a BLA." 

“We are committed to advancing the clinical development of mRNA-1273 as quickly and safely as possible while investing to scale up manufacturing so that we can help address this global health emergency,” she added. 

Moderna shares were marked 12.4% higher in early trading to change hands at $84.05 per share, a move that would extend the stock's year-to-date gain to an astonishing 345%.

Earlier this week, Pfizer won 'fast track' approval from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for two of its coronavirus vaccine candidates. which the drugmaker is developing along with Germany's BioNTech BNTX, following preliminary data from Phase 1 and Phase 2 studies earlier this month.

Pfizer had previously said preliminary results of its coronavirus vaccine study that it said triggered a 'strong immune response' in human trials, an unveiled plans to to test the most promising of its four vaccine candidates on up to 30,000 participants in trials set for the United States and Europe.

No serious adverse effects were reported in the study, Pfizer said, which included testing of two BNT1162b1 doses on 24 healthy patient volunteers, but those treated showed higher levels of COVID-19 antibodies when compared to those infected by the disease.