The stock in Moderna (Nasdaq: MRNA) rose nearly 4% to $73.02 per share by midday Wednesday after the company said its Covid-19 vaccine can form neutralizing antibodies at similar levels as to ones produced in younger adults.
In a statement Tuesday after the markets closed, the biotech firm said the study came from a portion of its Phase 1 trial, which has now been published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
This study was tested among 40 adults in two separate age groups, which included patients in the age range of 56 to 70, as well as some that were 71 and older. Patients were given two doses of mRNA-1273, the vaccine candidate, 28 days apart. According to Moderna, the vaccine was found among those age groups to be “well-tolerated” and showed no serious side effects.
“These interim Phase 1 data suggests that mRNA-1273, our vaccine candidate for the prevention of COVID-19, can generate neutralizing antibodies in older and elderly adults at levels comparable to those in younger adults,” Tal Zaks, the chief medical officer of Moderna, said in a statement today.
He added, “Given the increased morbidity and mortality of COVID-19 in older and elderly adults, these data give us optimism in demonstrating mRNA-1273’s protection in this population, which is being evaluated in the Phase 3 COVE study.”
The news comes today as Moderna is conducting a Phase 3 trial aimed to enroll around 30,000 patients under the Trump administration’s backed “Operation Warp Speed.” Other companies under the program that have begun late-stage testing include Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), and AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN), and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ).
Last month, Moderna struck a $1.53 billion deal with the U.S. government to deliver 100 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine. The government also has the option to purchase an additional 400 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine candidate.
Stephane Bancel, the chief executive officer of Moderna, said earlier this month that the company expects to know if its vaccine works by November.
Shares of Moderna have surged 273% year-to-date.