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Author: Alan LittleDate: 2021-12-21

Moderna (MRNA) -3% despite encouraging data about booster shot

Moderna (MRNA) shares dipped 3% on Monday even though the drug maker said a booster shot of its Covid vaccine offers great protection against Omicron.

Moderna (MRNA) shares eased 3% lower on Monday despite the drugmaker’s encouraging update about the ability of its booster shots to tackle the Omicron variant of Covid-19 amid growing concerns about its global spread.

While two doses of the mRNA-1273 vaccine do not provide sufficient protection, a third booster will act as a “first line of defence” and increase important antibodies significantly.

The latest variant has been detected in 90 countries according to WHO, but a 50 microgram or 100 microgram Moderna booster taken after two prior shots leads to a 37 times or 80 times uptick in neutralising antibodies.

The findings are very encouraging as countries in the Northern Hemisphere prepare for a spike in cases over the winter.

In the UK on Monday, 91,743 positive cases were recorded, bringing the seven-day total to more than 584,000.

On the stock market, shares were generally trading lower as investors continue to be spooked by the rising number of Omicron cases, which are currently doubling every two to three days.

This was true for Moderna too, even though it did jump by as much as 7.6% in pre-market trading.

After a brief rally when the markets opened, Moderna shares then slipped into negative territory and were down 3.26% at $285.20 by midday.

Moderna’s drug will play a key role in booster jab initiatives in the coming weeks though and CEO Stephane Bacel said the company is planning to put an Omicron-specific vaccine through its paces in trials early next year.

He added: “We will also continue to generate and share data across our booster strategies with public health authorities to help them make evidence-based decisions on the best vaccination strategies against SARS-CoV-2.”

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