Moderna Reports Progress With Virus Vaccine in Older Adults

Moderna shares rose after the biotech reported progress with older adults in a clinical trial of its coronavirus-vaccine candidate.
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Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Report shares rose on Wednesday after the biotechnology company reported progress in a clinical trial of its coronavirus-vaccine candidate.

Moderna shares recently traded at $70.11, up 5.8%. The stock has more than tripled year to date.

The report related particularly to the vaccine’s impact on older patients: The immune responses to the drug in people 56 and older were similar to those seen in younger adults.

That's important because the disease has proved deadlier for older patients than for younger ones.

Moderna’s trial included 10 people aged 56 to 70 and 10 adults aged 71 and older. Each person in the trial got two 100-microgram doses of the vaccine 28 days apart.

The volunteers produced both neutralizing antibodies and killer T-cells, Moderna said. These antibodies "neutralize viruses by binding to their surface and blocking entry into a person’s cells, the National Institutes of Health explains. The killer T-cells destroy infected cells.

The vaccine also appeared well-tolerated, with patients reporting no serious adverse events, the Cambridge, Mass., company said. 

The results haven’t been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Moderna presented the data on Wednesday at the August meeting of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Earlier this month a prominent vaccine expert/CNN medical analyst cast doubt on the ability of the company to develop a coronavirus vaccine by Election Day, as President Donald Trump has promised.

Moderna, which is currently in the middle of trials that study as many as 30,000 people, will have trouble making the president's Nov. 3 deadline, according to Peter Hotez, a vaccinologist at Baylor College of Medicine. He said, "There's no way. There's just no way."