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COVID-19

Moderna selling $1.25 billion in stock to fund COVID-19 vaccine efforts

Cory Hester  

Cory Hester  

(May 19, 2020) - Pharmaceutical firm Moderna Inc. has launched a $1.25 billion stock offering to help fund the development of a coronavirus vaccine after announcing positive initial-phase testing results.

Moderna Inc. Form S-3ASR, 2020 WL 02517840 (May 18, 2020).
 
The company has not determined the number of shares for sale but said the offering could increase by $187.5 million if underwriters exercise their 30-day option to purchase additional stock, according to a May 18 press statement.
 
Moderna uses messenger RNA, or mRNA, science to develop therapeutics and vaccines for infectious diseases, rare diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
 
Besides funding work on its coronavirus vaccine, Moderna said it will use the proceeds for clinical development and drug discovery in new and existing therapeutic areas, for further development of its mRNA technology platform and creation of new modalities, and for working capital and other general corporate purposes.
 
The company has strategic partnerships with AstraZeneca PLC, Merck & Co. Inc. and the Defense Department, the press statement said.
 
Moderna launched a similar $500 million stock offering in February to support COVID-19 vaccine development. It did not say when it expects to close the latest sale.
 

Vaccine progress

In announcing positive initial results for its COVID-19 vaccine, dubbed mRNA-1273, Moderna said it “was generally safe and well tolerated.”
 
Further, the company said the vaccine elicited neutralizing antibody levels in all eight participants and provided full protection against viral replication in the lungs of a mouse.
 
”These interim Phase 1 data, while early, demonstrate that vaccination with mRNA-1273 elicits an immune response of the magnitude caused by natural infection,” Dr. Tal Zaks, Moderna’s chief medical officer, said.

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