Moderna (MRNA) Stock Rockets On COVID-19 Funding

Moderna MRNA Stock News

Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) stock is climbing in the market this morning, and for good reason. The company announced that it will be receiving a large traunch of funding for its work in the COVID-19 space. Here’s what’s going on:

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MRNA Stock Climbs On Coronavirus Funding

In the press release, Moderna said that it entered into an agreement for a commitment of up to $483 million in funding. The funding will be provided by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or BARDA. BARDA is a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The funding being provided is specifically for the acceleration of the company’s mRNA vaccine candidate, known as mRNA-1273. The candidate is being developed as a potential vaccine to reduce the risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

As part of the agreement, MRNA said that BARDA will fund the advancement of mRNA-1273 to FDA licensure. At the moment, a Phase 1 study of the candidate is underway. In fact, original enrollment in this study has already been completed.

However, NIH recently amended the protocol to include an additional six cohorts. This was done to test the safety in older patients. Enrollment in these cohorts continues.

Should the study lead to postive safety data, the company will quickly move into a Phase 2 study. This is expected to begin as early as the fall of this year. Of course, should all go well, the BARDA funding will extend through late-stage trials.

In a statement, Stephane Bancel, CEO at MRNA, had the following to offer:

We are thankful for BARDA’s support to fund the accelerated development of mRNA-1273, our vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2. Time is of the essence to provide a vaccine against this pandemic virus. By investing now in our manufacturing process scale-up to enable large scale production for pandemic response, we believe that we would be able to supply millions of doses per month in 2020 and with further investments, tens of millions per month in 2021, if the vaccine candidate is successful in the clinic.

This News Is Huge

There’s good reason that investors are so excited here. First and foremost, the funding is a big deal. Ultimately, this funding means that the company is not risking any financial resources in the development of this vaccine candidate. Taking financial risk off of the table makes Moderna more attractive to investors.

However, that’s not the only reason for the excitement. At the moment, there are several companies that are working to develop vaccines. However, very few of these companies actually have something tangible. MRNA falls right into that category.

Moreover, not only does the company have something tangible, it is moving quickly to develop the candidate. The Phase 1 trial is already ongoing and Phase 2 is expected to take place soon. With the company’s rapid work to bring this vaccine to consumers, it may be the first to do so, opening the door to a huge opportunity for investors interested in MRNA stock.

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