Moderna stock popped Wednesday after the company inked a deal for at least 80 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine with the European Commission.
The news comes a day after the U.S. government said it would release 6.4 million doses in the first distribution of a coronavirus vaccine as soon as one gains emergency clearance. So far, that first winner appears to be Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) which, last week, submitted their request for emergency authorization in the U.S.
But Moderna (MRNA) is expected to soon follow suit in the U.S. And the company is making inroads in Europe where the European Commission agreed to buy a total of up to 160 million doses of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine.
Delivery could begin in the first quarter of 2021 assuming the European Medicines Agency approves the coronavirus vaccine.
In morning trading on the stock market today, Moderna stock jumped 4.8% near 103.30. That put Moderna stock well above the 5% chase zone following its breakout on Nov. 16, according to MarketSmith.com. Shares fell as much as 7% below their buy point on Nov. 18, triggering a sell rule.
Moderna Stock Jumps On Vaccine Deal
Under the terms of the deal, the European Commission will buy an initial 80 million doses of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine. It will also have the option to buy an additional 80 million. The agreement has yet to be finalized, however.
“We appreciate the confidence the European Commission has demonstrated in our mRNA (messenger RNA) vaccine platform including (the drug called) mRNA-1273 in their portfolio of vaccines,” Moderna Chief Executive Stephane Bancel said in a written statement.
Bancel noted the biotech company has scaled up its manufacturing capacity outside the U.S. while working with partners Lonza and Rovi. Moderna hopes to deliver 500 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine per year and possibly up to 1 billion a year beginning in 2021.
On a year-to-date basis, Moderna stock has rocketed nearly 427% amid excitement for its coronavirus vaccine.
U.S. Plans For Coronavirus Vaccine
The news buoying Moderna stock followed more details from the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed on Tuesday. Officials said at that time they will release 6.4 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine in an initial distribution after one gains emergency clearance.
By the end of the year, officials with Operation Warp Speed expect to distribute 40 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to Reuters. Operation Warp Speed is a government push to get a coronavirus vaccine — or multiple — ready by 2021.
But Pfizer stock slipped 0.9% near 36.30. Pfizer stock broke out of a flat base with a buy point at 39.55 on Nov. 9 before shares tumbled well below that entry. That triggered a sell rule when a stock falls 7%-8% below its entry.
Meanwhile, BioNTech stock edged up a fraction near 102.70.
Shares of BioNTech and Moderna have nearly perfect Relative Strength Ratings of 98 out of a best-possible 99. That means BioNTech stock and Moderna stock are performing in the top 2% of all stocks in terms of 12-month performance.
Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.
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