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ASX 200 expected to rocket higher on Moderna COVID-19 vaccine news

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) looks set to continue its positive run on Tuesday after very promising coronavirus vaccine news.

At the time of writing, SPI futures are pointing to 2% or 199 points gain for the benchmark index at the open.

This follows a strong night in Europe and on Wall Street which saw the FTSE jump 4.3%, the DAX rise 5.7%, the Dow Jones gain 3.85%, the S&P 500 climb 3.15%, and the Nasdaq index storm 2.45% higher.

What is the vaccine news?

Investors were piling into the share market on Monday night after American biotechnology company Moderna released phase one trial results for its coronavirus vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273.

Moderna’s 45 person trial included three dose groups of 15 receiving either a 25, 100 or 250 microgram dose. The participants received two doses of the potential vaccine through an intramuscular injection in the upper arm. These were made approximately 28 days apart.

Today’s results revealed that its vaccine produced COVID-19 antibodies in all participants evaluated.

Moderna’s Chief Medical Officer, Tal Zaks, M.D., Ph.D., was very pleased with the results.

He said: “These interim Phase 1 data, while early, demonstrate that vaccination with mRNA-1273 elicits an immune response of the magnitude caused by natural infection starting with a dose as low as 25 µg.”

“When combined with the success in preventing viral replication in the lungs of a pre-clinical challenge model at a dose that elicited similar levels of neutralizing antibodies, these data substantiate our belief that mRNA-1273 has the potential to prevent COVID-19 disease and advance our ability to select a dose for pivotal trials.”

Moderna is now aiming to get a phase 3 trial underway in July. If this is successful it could mean a vaccine will be ready much sooner than anyone expected.

The company’s chief executive officer, Stéphane Bancel, said: “With today’s positive interim Phase 1 data and the positive data in the mouse challenge model, the Moderna team continues to focus on moving as fast as safely possible to start our pivotal Phase 3 study in July and, if successful, file a BLA.”

“We are investing to scale up manufacturing so we can maximize the number of doses we can produce to help protect as many people as we can from SARS-CoV-2,” he concluded.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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