Moderna’s Omicron Booster Strategy Improves Biotech ETFs


Moderna (NasdaqGS: MRNA) jumped on Monday after announcing that a higher dose booster of its vaccine could help mitigate risks from COVID-19 Omicron before a custom shot is finalized, raising funds exchange traded related to the biotechnology sector.

Monday, Invesco Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBBQ) increased by 1.4% and IShares Biotechnology ETFs (IBB) gained 1.7%.

Moderna shares climbed 11.8% on Monday. MRNA represents 13.1% of the underlying portfolio of IBBQ and 10.2% of IBB.

Moderna is expected to benefit financially from Omicron’s rise to power, with stock prices soaring since Black Friday, when the company announced its new strategy, reports the Business Journal.

Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said it could take months to develop and ship a vaccine specifically for the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, but a higher dose of 100 micrograms of the company’s booster could be ready sooner, reports CNBC.

“The highest dose could be done immediately, but it will be months before the omicron-specific variant is ready to ship in massive quantities,” Bancel told CNBC.

Bancel warned that the Omicron variant could be highly infectious, but observations of at least two weeks will be needed before determining how mutations in the new variant could impact the effectiveness of current vaccines.

“Depending on the drop, we might decide on the one hand to give a higher dose of the current vaccine to the world to protect people, perhaps people at very high risk, the immunocompromised and the elderly should need of a fourth dose, ”Bancel said.

Former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb also argued that the FDA can move faster to approve a new vaccine focused on Omicron.

“I think the FDA is able to move very quickly at this point because they understand the basic platform, the manufacturing has been inspected, they understand the risks and benefits of mRNA platforms in general.” said Gottlieb, a member of the Pfizer board of directors. , told CNBC.

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