EconomyModerna shares rise 17% after agreement with Merck to...

Moderna shares rise 17% after agreement with Merck to develop a cancer vaccine

Merck opted to co-develop and potentially sell a customized mRNA vaccine with Moderna Inc in exchange for an upfront payment of $250 million, sending Moderna's shares up as much as 17%.

Moderna's experimental vaccine is being tested in combination with Merck's successful cancer immunotherapy, Keytruda, in a mid-stage trial to treat melanoma patients. Data on the vaccine, mRNA-4157, is expected in the fourth quarter of this year.

After hearing the news, Moderna shares soared 17% at the beginning of the session on Wednesday; however, the initial mood fizzled out and shares ended up 8.3%.

For its part, Merck shares closed down 0.7%.

With the size of the COVID-19 vaccines market projected to shrink in the coming years from levels seen in 2021, Moderna has pinned its hopes on other shots, including influenza and respiratory syncytial virus vaccines. .

The cancer vaccine is tailored to each patient to generate T cells, a key part of the body's immune response, based on a tumor's specific mutational signature.

In 2016, Merck and Moderna entered into a strategic partnership to develop a personalized vaccine for the treatment of various types of cancer.

In 2020, Merck sold its investment in Moderna stock, benefiting from the rise in the vaccine maker's share price that year.

With information from Reuters

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