Moderna shares jump on $1.5 billion U.S. contract for COVID-19 vaccine
By Manas Mishra (Reuters) - Shares of Moderna Inc rose more than 5% on Wednesday after analysts said a $1.5 billion coronavirus vaccine supply agreement with the U.S.
By Manas Mishra
(Reuters) - Shares of Moderna Inc
The United States and Moderna announced the agreement for 100 million doses of its potential COVID-19 vaccine late on Tuesday.
The company's vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, is one of the few that have already advanced to the final stage of testing.
The deal confirms Moderna's experimental vaccine is one of the leading contenders, said BMO analyst George Farmer, who has an "outperform" rating on the stock.
With the U.S. contract now signed, other deals could follow, said Jefferies analyst Michael Yee, who has a "buy" rating.
"We assume other countries ... will want to secure deals out of sheer responsibility before the capacity of the major 3-4 players is locked up."
Effective vaccines and treatments are seen as essential in halting the COVID-19 pandemic, with governments also signing deals for potential vaccines from companies such as AstraZeneca
Under the contract, Moderna will provide about 100 million doses, with the price coming to around $30.50 per person for a two dose regimen.
SVB Leerink analyst Mani Foroohar said the price was lower than deals signed by rivals and pointed to increased competition driving down prices in the coronavirus vaccine market.
The U.S. deal would pay out in full if the vaccine achieves certain regulatory milestones before Jan. 31, 2021.
Moderna shares, which have more than tripled and are among the top percentage gainers on the Nasdaq biotech index <.NBI> this year, were trading at $72.85.
(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Shounak Dasgupta)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.