Shares of Moderna (MRNA -0.23%) jumped 7.8% on Thursday after the drugmaker announced several notable advances during its annual research and development update.
Moderna is developing a single-dose vaccine, known as mRNA-1073, that includes boosters against both COVID-19 and seasonal flu. The biotech is also evaluating four development candidates against coronavirus variants, including Delta, with three already in clinical trials.
Additionally, Moderna said a third dose of its mRNA-1273 vaccine induced "robust antibody responses" for all variants of concern in a phase 2 study. Moderna is seeking Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for COVID-19 booster shots, which health officials say could further help to slow the spread of the disease.
Thanks to strong global demand for its COVID-19 vaccine, Moderna's cash reserves have grown to a staggering $15 billion. Management is wisely investing these profits into the company's highly regarded R&D program. That's helped Moderna build a robust drug pipeline, with 37 programs in development, including 22 in clinical trials.
"We believe our mRNA platform can solve the world's greatest health challenges, from diseases impacting millions, to ultra-rare diseases impacting dozens, to medicines personalized down to the individual level," CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a press release.