Moderna Surges After Shipping Coronavirus Vaccine For Human Trials

Moderna said its mRNA-1273 coronavirus vaccine has been sent to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for a planned phase-one study.
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Moderna Inc.  (MRNA) - Get Report shares spiked higher Tuesday after the Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech said it had put forward a new coronavirus vaccine for a phase one study.

Moderna said the treatment, known as MRNA-1273, had been shipped to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for a planed U.S.-based study conducted by the National Institutes of Health. Late Monday, White House officials asked lawmakers to approve $2.5 billion in funding for vaccines, treatment and protective equipment amid the global coronavirus spread. 

“I want to thank the entire Moderna team for their extraordinary effort in responding to this global health emergency with record speed. The collaboration across Moderna, with NIAID, and with Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations has allowed us to deliver a clinical batch in 42 days from sequence identification,” said Moderna's Juan Andres. “This would not have been possible without our Norwood manufacturing site, which uses leading-edge technology to enable flexible operations and ensure high quality standards are met for clinical-grade material.”  

Moderna shares were marked 17.3% higher in early trading Tuesday to change hands at $21.80 each, a move that would extend the stock's six-month gain to around 50%.

Gilead Sciences Inc  (GILD) - Get Report shares hit a 52-week high Monday after the World Health Organisation assistant director general, Bruce Aylward, said the company's "remdesivir' treatment was the "only one drug we think might have real efficacy" in combating the spread of the pneumonia-like virus.

Bank of America analysts, however, said that the economics of addressing epidemics and pandemics are generally low, noting that in a a best-case scenario Gilead could receive a one-time revenue boost of about $2.5 billion.

Gilead shares were marked 0.25% higher in pre-market trading at $73.10 each, a move that would extend their six-month gain to around 18%.