February 22, 2024

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Moderna Pre-market Surge: Joint Vaccine with Merck Reduces Skin Cancer Recurrence

Moderna Pre-market Surge: Joint Vaccine with Merck Reduces Skin Cancer Recurrence



Moderna Pre-market Surge: Joint Vaccine with Merck Reduces Skin Cancer Recurrence.

Moderna Soars Over 9% in Pre-market Trading as Jointly Developed Vaccine with Merck Shows Significant Reduction in Skin Cancer Recurrence Risk.

A personalized vaccine developed jointly by Merck and Moderna has yielded promising new results in a study, significantly increasing the likelihood of patients not experiencing a recurrence of skin cancer over a three-year observation period.

Both companies announced on Thursday that patients with severe melanoma, who received this vaccine in conjunction with Merck’s cancer drug Keytruda, experienced a 49% reduction in the risk of death or cancer recurrence compared to those solely treated with Keytruda.

Moderna's Pre-market Surge: Joint Vaccine with Merck Reduces Skin Cancer Recurrence

These findings are particularly crucial for Moderna, a leading manufacturer of COVID-19 vaccines, whose post-pandemic strategy includes expanding the applications of its messenger RNA technology to combat influenza, RSV, and cancer. Last month, Moderna forecasted a sharp decline in revenue in 2024, falling below analyst expectations, raising concerns in the market about the company’s ability to fund its ambitious product line.

It is noteworthy that melanoma constitutes only about 1% of skin cancers in the United States, yet claims the highest number of deaths annually due to this disease. Developing cancer vaccines involves analyzing the genetic sequences of each patient’s tumor to create a personalized therapy, educating the immune system to recognize markers of abnormal growth. In the mid-term study, patients received these drugs after surgical removal of the tumor.

As of the time of writing, Moderna surged over 9% in pre-market trading, having seen its stock price drop by over half so far this year. In contrast, Merck’s stock price has seen relatively minimal fluctuations.

Interestingly, patients treated with the drug-vaccine combination two years ago showed a 44% reduction in the risk of death or recurrence compared to those solely treated with Keytruda. This suggests that the efficacy of the vaccine in preventing skin cancer recurrence remains consistent, with no significant changes or declines, whether it be two years ago or within the mentioned three-year observation period, indicating that the protection provided by the vaccine is enduring.

In response to this, Moderna’s President, Stephen Hoge, stated in an interview, “We have now answered the remaining scientific question: is this benefit short-lived or enduring?”

Finally, Moderna and Merck initiated a late-stage trial in July for combined treatment of melanoma patients. Hoge indicated that such trials might be necessary to confirm results and could take three to four years, although regulatory agencies might aid in allowing patients to access this treatment earlier.

Merck and Moderna are also testing the effectiveness of this combination in other cancers using Keytruda. Earlier this week, both companies announced the commencement of a late-stage trial for combined treatment in lung cancer patients.

Moderna Pre-market Surge: Joint Vaccine with Merck Reduces Skin Cancer Recurrence

(source:internet, reference only)


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