Shares of Moderna (MRNA) - Get Moderna, Inc. Report advanced Monday after the vaccine maker reportedly said it will soon begin testing a booster shot to target the fast spreading omicron variant of coronavirus.
Moderna Chief Executive Stephane Bancel told CNBC that the omicron-specific booster shot will enter clinical trials soon
Bancel said the Massachusetts company needed a few more weeks to gather scientific information from testing performed on people infected with the omicron variant.
"We are discussing with public health leaders around the world to decide what we think is the best strategy for the potential booster for the fall of 2022," Bancel told CNBC.
Moderna has also raised its vaccine sales forecast and said it had signed advanced purchase agreements for product sales of about $18.5 billion.
The company aims to administer 2 billion to 3 billion vaccine doses this year.
Moderna is also looking into "a so-called multivalent booster that incorporates mutations seen in other variants, such as Beta and Delta," The Financial Times reported.
Last week, the company said had shipped about 800 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine -- its only commercial product -- to more than 60 countries in 2021 and more than tripled the amount of cash and cash equivalents it held.
Moderna is also working on a flu vaccine and a combined flu and Covid booster.
The seven-day average for newly reported Covid-19 cases in the U.S. topped 700,000 for the first time Saturday, data from Johns Hopkins University showed, as the highly infectious omicron variant spread throughout the country.
Shares of Moderna on Monday had jumped 8.3% to $231.50 at last check.