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Moderna says COVID-19 vaccine candidate is 94.5% effective

An independent safety monitoring board confirmed the statistics based on interim results from a late-stage trial

Moderna Therapeutics Inc - Moderna says COVID-19 vaccine candidate is 94.5% effective

Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA) announced its COVID-19 vaccine candidate is effective in preventing the disease 94.5% of the times.

Interim data from the late-stage clinical trial were assessed by an independent safety monitoring board that confirmed the jab met the statistical goals of the study.

The COVE study enrolled over 30,000 participants in the US and is still ongoing.

The current results were based on 95 cases, of which 90 cases of COVID-19 were observed in the group that received the placebo compared to five cases observed in the group that was administered the candidate, called mRNA-1273.

The 95 COVID-19 cases included 15 adults aged over 65 and 20 participants identifying as being from diverse communities.

“We look forward to the next milestones of submitting for an EUA in the US, and regulatory filings in countries around the world, while we continue to collect data on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine in the COVE study,” said Stéphane Bancel, Moderna’s chief executive.

'Best in class'

"We believe these data are strong and support mRNA-1273 as a best-in-class vaccine for COVID-19," analysts at Morgan Stanley commented.

"We expect further details, including all key secondary endpoints such as the impact on asymptomatic disease,once the study completes."

On Monday, the European Medicines Agency announced it has started a rolling review of the formulation, which will continue until enough evidence is available to support a formal marketing authorisation application.

The news comes a week after Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) revealed their candidate is 90% effective, followed by the Russian authorities flagging the Sputnik V jab reaches 92%.

Deals for doses

Also on Monday, the Department of Health said the government is "in advanced discussions" with Moderna to ensure UK access to their vaccine as part of the wider UK portfolio.

"Moderna are currently scaling up their European supply chain which means these doses would become available in spring 2021 in the UK at the earliest," a spokesperson said in a statement.

The US has bought 100mln doses with options to ramp up to 400mln, while the EU has a “potential purchase agreement” for 80-160mln jabs.

Rolling out the Pfizer vaccine

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the BBC the government is working "very hard" with Pfizer to begin the rollout of its vaccine by the first week of December, after Westminster secured 40mln doses.

"We'll be ready from the first of December... but more likely is that we may be able to start rolling it out before Christmas," he said.

The markets spiked as soon as the news came out, with the FTSE 100 rising 1% to 6,432, while Moderna shot up 14% to US$101.95 in premarket trading.

--Adds Matt Hancock quote--

--Adds Morgan Stanley comment, Department of Health quote--

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