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Health Officials Say U.S. Coronavirus Vaccine is Making Good Progress

By Mark Prvulovic - Feb 7, 2020 at 6:19PM

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Shares of vaccine developer Moderna surged following the announcement.

While China has confirmed that human trials for a coronavirus vaccine are on the way, U.S. health officials have stated that progress on their own, domestic coronavirus vaccine is proceeding along without any hiccups.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) director Anthony Fauci went on to say that the development of a vaccine is proceeding well. "I'm happy to tell you that there have been no glitches so far," said Fauci. "We will be in people in a Phase 1 trial within the next 2.5 months."

A person holding one vial among dozens, with this one containing the coronavirus.

Image source: Getty Images.

There are now 34,397 confirmed coronavirus cases around the world, with 34,079 of them coming from mainland China. Only 12 of those cases have been diagnosed in the U.S., with the Trump administration having announced mandatory quarantines for people coming from the affected area in China to prevent further outbreaks in the country..

Moderna's stock surges

Moderna (MRNA 0.76%), a biotech company that develops mRNA-based vaccines, has been working alongside the NIAID to develop a treatment for the coronavirus. Funding is provided by a nongovernmental organization known as the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, but at the moment, there isn't a clear compensation structure for Moderna should the drug be successfully developed.

Regardless, investors took this reassurance from the NIAID as a good sign for Moderna, with the company's stock surging by as much as 17%. Other healthcare giants are working to develop their own treatments. Gilead recently made news when its Ebola drug, remdesivir, almost completely eliminated symptoms in a patient it was tested on. The Chinese government is now moving the drug to human trials.

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