Moderna Spikes 20%, Lifting Futures On Promising Early COVID Vaccine Trial Data

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by Tyler Durden
Monday, May 18, 2020 - 07:52 AM

Update (0830ET): Read the full press release from Moderna below:

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In what appear to be the first data from a human vaccine trial, Modern has reported promising early signs that its vaccine "can create an immune-system response in the body that could help fend off the new coronavirus" according to sampling data from a small group of humans who participated in the phase 1 study.

Signs that one of the most hyped vaccines out of the 130+ projects underway around the world have helped Moderna's shares soar 20%+ in premarket trade.

According to BBG, citing data released by Moderna, the study was primarily designed to look at the safety of the shot, and showed no major warning signs in a small phase 1 trial, the company said in a statement Monday. The trial is being run in partnership of the US government under the watchful eye of Dr. Fauci and the NIH. Moderna plans to continue advancing it to wider testing.

More importantly than the safety-related findings, researchers found that antibodies could be detected at two lower dose levels, a sign that the vaccine could help those who receive it fend off infection by the virus.

The researchers found that at two lower dose levels used in the study, levels of antibodies found after getting a second booster shot of the vaccine either equaled or exceeded the levels of antibodies found in patients who had recovered from the virus.

Though notably, these results were only recorded in small batch of 8 patients.

Moderna's CEO - who later appeared on CNBC Monday morning for an interview - praised the results as "a very good sign."

"This is a very good sign that we make an antibody that can stop the virus from replicating,” Moderna Chief Executive Officer Stephane Bancel said in an interview. The data “couldn’t have been better,” he said.

Bancel said that safety profile appeared to be good, and the reactions were typical of vaccines. They included injection site pain and redness, as well as temporary fever or chills that quickly go away on their own, he said.

Bancel added that the safety profile of the vaccine appeared to be good, and the reactions were mostly typical, including soreness and pain at the injection site. Some patients experienced temporary fever and chills in reaction to the shot. Though Bancel clarified that this only emerged in a few cases during the second round of dose administration. The symptoms mostly went away on their own, according to the company.

The company felt it needed to release these interim data from the trial due to the "high level of interest" in the vaccine (helped by CNBC's Jim Cramer, who often mentions the company on air).

A phase 2 trial is expected to begin shortly, and a final-stage trial will begin in July, Moderna said. Dow futures are soaring on the news, with the Dow up 560 points in recent trade, building on earlier gains.