Moderna Coronavirus Vaccine Ready For Human Testing, Stocks Spike 22%

Moderna surged as much as 22% after the biotech company shipped the first coronavirus vaccine for human testing.

Moderna Coronavirus Vaccine ready for human testing
Moderna Coronavirus Vaccine Ready For Human Testing, Stocks Spike 22%

The firm submitted vials of mRNA-1273 to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for a phase one study in the US, according to a press release. Moderna is the first company to push a preventative vaccine for the outbreak to trial.

The company was able to deliver the first batch just 42 days after identifying the key RNA sequence to target, Juan Andres, chief technical operations and quality officer, said. Andres attributed the quick turnaround to collaboration between Moderna, NIAID, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

The Monday announcement arrived as President Trump called on Congress to approve $2.5 billion in funding for coronavirus vaccines, treatment, and preventative supplies. The US is host to 53 coronavirus cases, though the Centers for Disease Control still considers virus risk in the country to be relatively low.

Moderna’s spike arrives one day after biotech firm Gilead posted a similar gain. The company soared as much as 11% on Monday after a World Health Organization official said its remdesivir compound may be the best bet at treating coronavirus. Gilead’s drug is undergoing human trials in Beijing, with results expected in April. Remdesivir aims to treat the virus, while Moderna’s vaccine would prevent individuals from contracting it.

Coronavirus is responsible for more than 2,700 deaths and has infected more than 80,000 people as of Tuesday morning. The disease broke out in Wuhan, China before spreading throughout the country. New outbreaks in Iran, Italy, and South Korea ratcheted up fears of the outbreak becoming a fatal pandemic.

Ben Winck for Markets Insider

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