The vaccine against the coronavirus developed by Moderna is one of three vaccines whose trials are being funded by the U.S. government, according to the Wall Street Journal. Moderna to date has not created any commercially available drugs but has 20 experimental drugs currently being developed. Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, has emphasized that the vaccine could be available to healthcare workers as early as the fall and be fully rolled out in 2021.
The biotech startup’s current success in developing the vaccine have led to increased confidence from investors. Moderna’s share value were below their IPO price of $23 in January but have now increased by 200%.
Moderna’s vaccine is expected to work primarily by transporting new messenger RNA into the body. Messenger RNA typically provides the instructions needed for a cell to complete its function. The mRNA in Moderna’s vaccine will provide instructions for cells to produce proteins that are similar in shape and structure to the coronavirus. The protein is expected to produce an immune response that will strengthen the body’s defenses against the coronavirus.