We’re still in desperate need of COVID-19 vaccine.
Without it, life can’t resume any sort of normalcy. However, there are signs of good news from three of the top companies racing towards a solution.
Moderna Inc. (MRNA)
Shares of Moderna Inc. (MRNA) were up another $7 this morning.
This comes just days after the U.S. FDA approved its vaccine candidate for Phase 2 trials. From here, the company will begin the next round of trials with 600 participants, and is also finalizing plans for a Phase 3 trial as early as this summer, says CNBC.
“We are accelerating manufacturing scale-up and our partnership with Lonza puts us in a position to make and distribute as many vaccine doses of mRNA-1273 as possible, should it prove to be safe and effective,” CEO Stephane Bancel said.
Even better, as noted by CNBC, “In an interview this week with National Geographic, Anthony Fauci, who runs the NIAID, praised the Moderna vaccine. ‘These vaccines are inducing, at least in animal models, really rather substantial immune responses, particularly the mRNA vaccine.’”
The company has hopes it can start Phase 3 trials by summer 2020.
Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO)
Weeks after saying it developed a potential vaccine in three hours, Inovio launched a phase one trial to see if it’s safe for humans. Over the course of the trial, 40 people will be given two doses of the vaccine, and monitored for reaction.
If all goes well, the company will start another study to assess its efficacy against the virus. “We’ve set the internal goal of having 1 million vaccines for testing by end of 2020,” says Kate Broderick, Senior VP of R&D at Inovio.
To date, preclinical data has shown promising immune responses across animal models. “Preclinical results for INOVIO’s COVID vaccine have been consistent with completed Phase 1 vaccine study for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), also caused by a coronavirus, in which INOVIO’s DNA vaccine was well tolerated and induced high levels of antibody responses in 95% of subjects, while also generating broad-based T cell responses in nearly 90% of study participants,” notes Inovio.
In recent days, Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated an Overweight rating on the stock with a $17 price target. HC Wainwright also reiterated a Buy rating with a price target of $17.
Gilead Sciences (GILD)
Just days ago, the company said preliminary results of a COVID-19 vaccine trial “showed at least 50% of patients treated with a 5-day dosage of antiviral drug remdesivir improved and more than half were discharged from the hospital within two weeks,” as noted by CNBC. “The company also said another trial by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases met its main goal.”
“These data are encouraging as they indicate that patients who received a shorter, 5-day course of remdesivir experienced similar clinical improvement as patients who received a 10-day treatment course,” said Aruna Subramanian, a lead investigator of the study.
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