Vaccine makers were climbing during Thursday’s volatile market session as investors took President Trump’s bullish proclamation Wednesday that a vaccine to treat COVID-19 is closer than many expected to hear.
Inovio Pharmaceuticals jumped more than 17% Thursday, while Sorrento climbed nearly 14%. On Tuesday, Inovio said that it received $71 million from the U.S. Defense Department to ramp up production of its smart devices that administer its experimental coronavirus vaccine, INO-4800, into the skin.
Vaccines usually take years to develop and test safely, but the urgency of the coronavirus has necessitated a shorter timetable for the development of a vaccine that could help restart the world economy.
The SPDR S&P biotech ETF, which has gained 1.6% in trading Thursday afternoon after Trump said “I think you’re going to have a big surprise, a beautiful surprise, sooner than anybody would think,” in response to questions about the availability of a coronavirus vaccine.
The government currently has the U.S. Army’s Center for Infectious Disease Research working on its “Warp Speed” project which aims to deliver a vaccine at scale by January.
Coronavirus concerns are weighing on market sentiment once again as a spike in cases around the country once again has investors jittery.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced Thursday that the state will pause any further reopening and will pause the availability of voluntary surgeries while the healthcare system in the state deals with the influx of new coronavirus cases.
On Thursday, drug makers Moderna and Catalent unveiled a joint effort to release Moderna’s coronavirus-vaccine candidate this quarter.
Drug-delivery specialist Catalent will provide vial-filling and -packaging services for drugmaker Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine candidate mRNA-1273, the companies said.
The agreement also involves Catalent, Somerset, N.J., providing additional staffing at Catalent’s biologics facility in Bloomington, Ind.
The employees will support the production of an initial 100 million doses of the drug to supply the U.S. market starting in the third quarter this year.