Biotech ETFs Climbing As Moderna Builds Hope For Coronavirus Vaccine

U.S. stocks are continuing to soar higher on Monday, moving into positive territory for May, following news that drugmaker Moderna released positive, preliminary results from the first human trial of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine, generating optimism that the medical community was taking steps to beat the coronavirus.

Shares of the biotech company soared surged over 25% this morning after it released positive results from preliminary human tests of its vaccine candidate for the coronavirus. According to the company, the vaccine generated Covid-19 antibodies in all 45 participants.

The vaccine also created neutralizing antibodies against the disease in at least eight participants. These neutralizing antibodies could be valuable in acquiring protection from the coronavirus, according to experts. FDA had recently provided Fast Track status for this vaccine.

“These interim Phase 1 data, while early, demonstrate that vaccination with mRNA-1273 elicits an immune response of the magnitude caused by natural infection starting with a dose as low as 25 [micrograms],” Moderna chief medical officer Dr. Tal Zaks said in a statement.

“When combined with the success in preventing viral replication in the lungs of a pre-clinical challenge model at a dose that elicited similar levels of neutralizing antibodies, these data substantiate our belief that mRNA-1273 has the potential to prevent COVID-19 disease and advance our ability to select a dose for pivotal trials,” Zaks added.

Major indexes are rallying on Monday’s vaccine optimism, as investors believe our lives can recover a sense of normalcy only after an effective and safe vaccine. According to the World Health Organization, over 100 coronavirus vaccines are in development globally.

Stocks surged higher in the extended session trade on Sunday, to gap open higher in the regular session and boost all three of the major stock indexes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 845 points or 3.45%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite also made significant gains since Friday, climbing 3.12% and  2.4%, respectively.

Stock Index ETFs are green today as well, tracking moves in the benchmark stock indexes. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), is off by 2.93%, the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA) is 3.41% higher, while the Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ), is the laggard today, climbing 1.81%

A host of healthcare behemoths such as J&J and Pfizer are also working on feverishly to generate vaccines. Some of these will be potential aides will be available for testing this fall but for not for mass consumption globally until next year.

While the process to generate a new vaccine is likely to take some time, rather than pin their hopes on one particular company, investors can bet on a broad swath of biotech companies using ETFs.

Some of the most popular ETFs to consider, or ones with significant allocations of Moderna, include the iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology ETF (IBB), the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI) and the VanEck Vectors Biotech ETF (BBH), and Loncar Cancer Immunotherapy ETF (CNCR).

For more market trends, visit  ETF Trends.