Moderna is once again shaking stock markets this week. For once, this is not related to the Covid-19 pandemic. With a 19.63% rise in its share price in just one session, the American biotech company is back with a valuation of over $75 billion. The stock is up more than 66% since its last low on September 30. What’s going on?
With two exceptional years marked by XXL orders for the COVID-19 vaccine by governments, Moderna must think about the aftermath. In 2023, investors did not see biotech continuing the pace, which is why they largely abandoned its title. They return today as tests of mRNA technology on another pathology bring promising results.
Moderna has indeed completed a experimental phase for a vaccine for skin cancer (melanoma). The coronavirus pandemic has enabled Big Pharma to invest heavily in research for personalized mRNA vaccine technology and therefore it tends to be able to be used for other challenges in medicine.
“We will begin additional studies in melanoma and other forms of cancer with the goal of providing patients with truly individualized cancer treatments”Moderna said in a press release.
Reduced risk of recurrence
Like a listed company looking for quick profits, its teams first focused on the most common cancer in the United States, with more than 80,000 new patients per year. Moderna has directly allied itself with Merk, the laboratory behind the Keytruda treatment, which has been developed for ten years as an immunotherapy drug. The latter is also prescribed in France since this year, on behalf of 14 different cancers.
“We are now showing that our vaccine, combined with the best product available on the market, Keytruda, almost halves the risk of death or relapse compared to Keytrudra injected alone. The goal is now to extend the scope of this messenger RNA-based vaccine to other indications in cancer.”explained the CEO of Moderna, Stéphane Bancel, in an interview with the Figaro.
The results published by the two laboratories give a figure of 44% reduced risk of recurrence, with the two treatments compared to Keytruda alone. The Marseille, France-born boss, who owns 9% of Moderna, added that he was impatient “to release the full data set and share the results at an upcoming oncology medical conference, as well as with health authorities.” If it gets the green light, Tier 3 trials could take place as early as next year.