On Tuesday afternoon, the American biotechnology company Moderna announced the publication of interim results from phase 1 study of its mRNA-1273 vaccine against the novel coronavirus.
According to the findings of the study, which were published in The New England Journal of Medicine, the vaccine is showing great promise, and the company is now ready to initiate a phase 2 study.
"Interim analysis of original cohorts of Phase 1 study evaluated two-dose vaccination schedule of mRNA-1273 across three dose levels (25, 100, 250 µg) in 45 healthy adults ages 18-55 years; results reaffirm and expand upon positive interim data announced on May 18th. […] Neutralizing antibody titers were observed in 100% of evaluated participants."
This is great news for governments as mRNA-1273 could become the game-changing asset in the fight against the pandemic; however, Moderna's statement from Tuesday may not warrant the sweeping investors' excitement it prompted. Not right away at least.
Evidently, the cause of these initial celebrations is the fact that vital antibodies were found in 100 per cent of the participants in the study, which is a confirmation of the vaccine's efficiency.
Nevertheless, it should not be forgotten that the study was conducted on only 45 individuals, which is how these phase 1 reviews are typically structured. Much more comprehensive trials need to be undertaken next so that the vaccine could be applied to a lot more people before its ultimate effectiveness can be affirmed.
Additionally, the findings of the phase 1 study ultimately confirm the postulations from the interim data that was released on the 18th of May. Therefore, the information that was released on Tuesday is not new in the sense that it asserted previous expectations.
That is why a new bullish rally of Moderna's shares seems improbable at the present moment. More substantial data is needed to support such a longer-term hike. This is what investors seem to think as well, judging by the way the market priced in the news.
As can be seen on the daily chart below, Moderna's shares opened with a gap yesterday; however, the initial enthusiasm promptly subsided by the end of yesterday's trading session.
The price action was unable to break out above the peak that was established on the 18th of May, which is when Moderna released its preliminary expectations from the interim data.
For the time being, the price action remains concentrated below the historical resistance level at 87.00. Nevertheless, the 10-day MA (in red) is positioned above the 30-day MA (in green), which, in turn, is trading above the 50-day MA (in blue).
This ascending order confirms the existence of solid bullish commitment in the market, which is likely to cause another attempt at a breakout above the aforementioned resistance level.