Moderna COVID-19 vaccine progress sends stock markets soaring

Henrietta Strickland
November 21, 2020

News from US drug company Moderna Inc. that its potential COVID-19 vaccine candidate has also been more than 90 per cent effective in clinical trials sent stock markets soaring on Monday, boosting hopes that the global economy may soon fully convalesce and things could get back to normal. "We believe that our investments in mRNA delivery technology and manufacturing process development will allow us to store and ship our Covid-19 vaccine candidate at temperatures commonly found in readily available pharmaceutical freezers and refrigerators", said Juan Andres, Chief Technical Operations and Quality Officer at Moderna.

Moderna's vaccine candidate, created in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health, has 30,000 volunteers in its fold. Side effects from the clinical trial vaccine, for now, appear minimal. Another bright spot: All 11 "severe cases" occurred in the placebo group and none in the mRNA-1273 vaccinated group.

Moderna says that within the coming weeks it will be submitting for an Emergency Use Authorization of its vaccine candidate based on the results, looking to get approval from the FDA to use it in emergency circumstances ahead of a full and final approval. The vaccine is infused with a piece of genetic code that trains our immune system to recognize the spike protein on the surface of the virus - a lethal signature of the coronavirus. "We'll be ready to roll it out as soon as it comes, we'll be ready from the first of December., but more likely is that we may be able to start rolling it out before Christmas".

Pfizer's final results are due third week of November - around the time of the Thanksgiving holiday. The country's death toll is the world's highest - more than 246,000 at last count. Anywhere from 25 to 30 million people could be vaccinated each month after that.

The study, which is jointly funded by the United Kingdom government, is the third of its kind to enter clinical trials in the United Kingdom, together with the vaccine candidates being developed by USA biotech company Novavax and University of Oxford/AstraZeneca.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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