Coronavirus: Moderna Inc announces positive interim results on vaccine candidate

The latest developments on projects to tackle the pandemic

AstraZeneca - AstraZeneca to produce 100mln potential Covid-19 vaccines for Oxford University

Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA) said the second phase of clinical trials for its vaccine candidate against Covid-19 delivered positive results.

The US biotech firm said the new data reinforces the belief that its mRNA-based vaccine could be effective in preventing infections, without serious side effects.

The third and final phase of trials is pencilled in for July, followed by biologic licence application to the US Food and Drug Administration if successful.

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN) has finalised a licensing agreement with Oxford University to produce 100mln Covid-19 vaccines if the current candidate is successful.

The UK will receive 30mln doses by September.

READ: AstraZeneca agrees to produce Oxford University’s coronavirus vaccine candidate on not-for-profit basis

Business Secretary Alok Sharma also announced on Sunday £84mln new government funding to Oxford University and Imperial College London to boost their research on vaccines.

Westminster is allocating another £93mln to the Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, to complete construction by summer 2021.

The centre, supported by Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) among others, will have capacity to produce enough vaccine doses to cover the UK population in six months.

In other coronavirus news, Catenae Innovation PLC (LON:CTEA) has begun trialling and finalising its Cov-ID app for tracing cases, while Open Orphan PLC (LON:ORPH) confirmed that its COVID-19 Antibody Microarray machine is undergoing testing.

The machine, which will be fully operational in two weeks, can carry out 3,000 tests per day.

Finally, e-Therapeutics PLC (LON:ETX) has begun experimental testing on the first set of compounds to treat coronavirus, identified using its proprietary network-driven drug discovery platform.

The  initial compound set, which it believes has the potential to address both viral replication and the associated excessive immune response, will be tested by WuXi AppTec utilising its relevant cell-based assays.

Quick facts: AstraZeneca

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Market: LSE
Market Cap: £113.49 billion

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