Moderna flies for $ 483 million in funding for coronavirus vaccine


Moderna’s shares rose in the pre-commercial market on Friday after the biotech company announced that it had received up to $ 483 million in federal funding to accelerate the development of a coronavirus vaccine.

Shares of the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based firm rose more than 17% to almost $ 48 each. During Thursday’s session, the stock hit an historic high of $ 41.55.

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Friday that funding was especially important to help manufacturing efforts.

“Instead of waiting for the data and then taking it to the next level with the manufacturing process … we can make as many doses as possible. We are doing both in parallel, “he said. The company plans to hire up to 150 people to support the effort.

Bancel said the company “could not have done this” without the funding commitment from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Moderna has partnered with the National Institutes of Health on the development of its Covid-19 vaccine. Phase 1 human trials of the potential vaccine began in the Seattle area in mid-March.

The trial was launched at “record speed,” White House health adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said at the time.

On Friday, Bancel reiterated Moderna’s timeline for vaccine development. He said he hopes to have safety data from the Phase 1 trial this spring, which could allow him to take the next step in the second quarter of this year.

The phase 1 trial is conducted with 45 people, while phase 2 would involve expansion into “hundreds of healthy subjects,” said Bancel.

The development must also include a large efficacy study involving thousands of people, said Bancel. Moderna hopes to start this phase in the fall, based on the results of all of the previous steps.

“If all goes well, we hope we can be commercially ready to make the vaccine widely available in the United States in 2021,” he said.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here