Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) provided an up-and-down ride for its investors Friday, with the stock trading as much as 1.5% higher and 8.5% lower than its previous day's close. Ultimately, it landed essentially flat on the day. Several bits of news were responsible for the push-pull dynamic.
Moderna announced that its partner in Japan, Takeda Pharmaceutical, submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) for its now-famous mRNA-1273 coronavirus vaccine (known as TAK-919 in that nation).
In another potentially positive development, a study conducted at California's La Jolla Institute for Immunology seems to indicate that the T cells produced by mRNA-1273 are efficacious against the four currently most-concerning variants of the coronavirus. The catch is, the research is based on a set of lab tests and thus does not offer definitive proof. Also, the research has not yet been peer reviewed. In addition, Pfizer and BioNTech's BNT162b2 was found to have similar properties.
On a more discouraging note for Moderna, Reuters reported Friday that fresh research indicates that AZD1222, the rival coronavirus vaccine candidate from AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, is effective against the P1, or "Brazil," variant.
As none of these developments were decisive or momentous, shareholders seemed unsure of how to trade Moderna on Friday. However, I think the news was generally good for the biotech, particularly the Japan New Drug Application (even if it was more or less expected). Moderna stock still looks like a good investment.