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MarketWatch MarketPulseJan 25, 2021
Moderna: Lab study confirms its COVID-19 vaccine still protects against new variants
Shares of Moderna Inc. gained 4.6% in premarket trading on Monday afer the company said laboratory studies demonstrated that its COVID-19 vaccine can still protect people against two new coronavirus variants: the B.1.1.7 that was first identified in the United Kingdom, and the B.1.351 strain, out of South Africa. The study was not conducted in humans. The findings were released in a news release, and the company said it expects the results to be published in preprint form. Moderna said the in-vitro studies showed that the B.1.1.7 variant had no "significant" impact on neutralizing antibody titers developed as a result of vaccination; however, they also demonstrated that the vaccine was less effective against the B.1.351 variant. In this case, the vaccine still produced levels of neutralizing antibody titers that were protective, but the titer levels were lower. Moderna said it now plans to study booster doses for its two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, to see if a third dose of some kind can increase neutralizing antibody titers and if a booster can specifically protect against the B.1.351 variant. This booster, mRNA-1273.351, will be tested in preclinical studies and a Phase 1 study in the U.S. The U.K. and South Africa variants have caused concern from government officials and medical experts around the world because they are more infectious and carry a higher viral load than other strains of the virus. Moderna's stock has gained 520.3% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 is up 15.6%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



CNBC BusinessJan 25, 2021
Moderna says it's working on Covid booster shot for variant in South Africa, says current vaccine provides some protection


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