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Moderna Jumps 6% as Cancer Vaccine Data Impresses, $110 Call Options Surge 68%

Moderna - ★★★ - Ranked #82 in our Q2 Large Cap Equity Rankings

Shares of Moderna Inc. rose 6% in Tuesday's trading after the company reported positive early results from a study of its experimental cancer vaccine.

The mRNA-4157 vaccine, when combined with Merck's immunotherapy drug Keytruda, was found to activate immune responses in patients with a type of head and neck cancer. Data from the 22 patients in the early-stage study also showed the drug combination was safe and well-tolerated.

The stock surge was accompanied by a 68% jump in the price of Moderna's May 17 2024 expiration $110 strike price call options, indicating high investor confidence in the company's near-term prospects following the vaccine data.

The positive findings come as a boost for Moderna, which has been diversifying beyond its COVID-19 vaccine into other mRNA-based therapies, including treatments for various types of cancer. Investors have closely watched the company's progress in this area, as a successful cancer vaccine could open up a massive new market.

While still in early clinical trials, the mRNA-4157 vaccine's ability to activate the immune system against cancer cells has generated excitement among analysts. Tuesday's stock and options activity indicates Wall Street's confidence in Moderna's ability to capitalize on this promising cancer immunotherapy approach.

The company said it plans to advance the vaccine into later-stage trials to further evaluate its safety and efficacy. Moderna is also studying other mRNA-based cancer vaccines targeting different tumor types.

We currently have a ★★★ (neutral short term outlook) on Moderna and it is ranked #85 in our Q2 2024 Large Cap Equity Rankings.

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