What happened

Shares of Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) were moving 5.2% higher as of 11:07 a.m. EST on Tuesday. The gain came after Moderna announced on Monday that it had filed for U.S. emergency use authorization (EUA) for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate mRNA-1273.

So what

Most of Moderna's jump came on Monday, but it's understandable why the momentum continued to a lesser extent today. The EUA filing for mRNA-1273 is a major milestone for the company and could also open the door for Moderna to make a lot of money very quickly.

Doctor giving a person a vaccine shot

Image source: Getty Images.

If mRNA-1273 wins EUA, the U.S. government will fork over $1.525 billion to Moderna to supply 100 million doses of the vaccine. That could be only the start as the U.S. has an option to buy an additional 400 million doses.

Securing U.S. authorization should also bode well for Moderna's chances of winning regulatory approvals in other countries. In recent days, the company received an advance purchase agreement with the European Commission to supply 80 million doses of mRNA-1273 and increased its deal with the U.K. to supply 7 million doses of the vaccine.

Now what

Another big catalyst for this biotech stock is likely only a few weeks away. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is convening an advisory committee on Dec. 17 to review the EUA filing for mRNA-1273. After this committee's review, the FDA should make a decision soon afterward. 

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