Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA) said Monday that it had commenced testing the next generation of its COVID-19 vaccine.
What Happened: The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company said it had dosed the first volunteers with its vaccine candidate dubbed mRNA-1283.
“Our investments in our mRNA platform have enabled us to develop this next generation vaccine candidate, which is a potential refrigerator-stable vaccine that could facilitate easier distribution and administration in a wider range of settings, including potentially for developing countries,” said Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel.
Bancel said Moderna remained “committed to helping address this ongoing public health emergency.”
The Phase 1 study will evaluate three dose levels — 10 µg, 30 µg, and 100 µg of the candidate vaccine given to healthy adults in two doses, 28 days apart. Apart from that, a single 100 µg dose will also be studied.
The dosages will be compared with a 2-dose series of 100 µg of mRNA-1273, the vaccine dose level currently authorized.
Why It Matters: Moderna said that mRNA-1283 will be evaluated in future studies as a booster dose for previously vaccinated or seropositive as well as in a primary series for seronegative individuals.
However, both these vaccines require cold-chain logistics to maintain efficacy, whereas another approved for emergency use single-dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) can remain stable for three months at 2-8 degrees Celsius.
Price Action: Moderna shares closed nearly 4.9% higher at $143.66 on Monday and fell 0.63% in the after-hours session.