For the second time in as many days, a country has dramatically increased the size of its order for Moderna's (MRNA 2.96%) coronavirus candidate. The company announced Tuesday that the federal government of Switzerland bolstered its confirmed order commitment for mRNA-1273 to 7.5 million doses from the previous 4.5 million -- a two-thirds increase.
Although major healthcare regulators around the world are widely expected to approve mRNA-1273, which has shown extremely high efficacy in late-stage clinical trials, none has yet done so. In Switzerland, the vaccine candidate is currently under rolling review by national regulator Swissmedic.
Moderna has had a relationship with Switzerland that it is planning to build upon. "Since Moderna's founding ten years ago, Switzerland has played a key role in Moderna's development thanks to the long-term support of our Swiss investors," said CEO Stephane Bancel in the press release trumpeting this latest news. "We are building Moderna's first commercial organization outside of North America in Basel in support of the global response to this pandemic."
In the likely case that the country's regulator approves mRNA-1273 for widespread use, Moderna says it is prepared to begin delivering the vaccine as soon as this month. The doses will be sourced from the company's European production facilities.
Tuesday was a good day for Moderna investors. The stock closed the trading day up by 6.5%, far outpacing the 0.3% gain of the S&P 500 index.