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Moderna, Pfizer start final-stage trials, aim for year-end launches

Moderna Inc

Moderna Inc and Pfizer Inc have launched two 30,000-subject trials of COVID-19 vaccines that could pave the way for regulatory clearance and wider adoption by the end of this year, the companies said on Monday.

The trials, both revealed on Monday, are the first late-stage research funded by the Trump administration’s attempts to speed up the progress against the novel coronavirus, leading to a successful vaccine would help to stop the pandemic.

Moderna’s stock rose by 9 percent. Pfizer’s shares increased by 1.6 percent after hours of trading and its affiliate, BioNTech, which developed the vaccine, increased by 4.2 percent. Both vaccine candidates rely on modern technology that allows for quicker development and production than conventional vaccine manufacturing processes but does not have an extensive track record.

Pfizer has a deal to supply 50 million vaccines for people to the U.S. government for around $2 billion if the vaccination is successful. More than 150 coronavirus vaccine candidates are at various stages of production, with around two dozen proposed clinical studies currently underway.

Moderna will have tens of millions of doses available when and if the vaccine is deemed safe and reliable.