Shares of Moderna (MRNA -1.34%) soared on Monday after the biotech said an analysis of its phase 3 study confirmed its experimental COVID-19 vaccine to be highly effective at preventing the dangerous disease. As of 2 p.m. EST, Moderna's stock was up more than 16%.
A primary efficacy analysis of Moderna's vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, found it to be 94.1% effective against COVID-19, as well as 100% effective at preventing severe forms of the disease. With phase 3 clinical trial data also showing mRNA-1273 to be generally well tolerated among the study's 30,000 participants, with no serious safety concerns identified to date, Moderna said it would request an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and conditional approval from European health regulators on Monday.
"We believe that our vaccine will provide a new and powerful tool that may change the course of this pandemic and help prevent severe disease, hospitalizations, and death," Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said in a press release.
Moderna is strengthening its distribution network ahead of a potential EUA. The drugmaker is working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and healthcare giant McKesson to prepare for the challenges of shipping the vaccine to administration sites across the U.S. and around the world. Moderna expects to make available roughly 20 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine candidate in the U.S. by the end of 2020 and as many as 1 billion doses worldwide in 2021.