Roche becomes Moderna partner in vaccine candidate trials

  •   09/12/2020 - 17h04
  •   HARMANT Adeline

This is good news for investors who recently bet on the share price of the Roche Pharmaceuticals Group. Indeed, the American biotech company Moderna, leading the race for the anti-covid vaccine with Pfizer, has just decided to collaborate with this pharmaceutical giant, also at the forefront of research, in the context of trials conducted on the vaccine candidate against the new coronavirus. Let's go over the details of this partnership together.

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Roche becomes Moderna partner in vaccine candidate trials
Image copyright: Fred Romero - Flickr

What is the partnership between Roche and Moderna?

Today's strategic alliance between Roche and Moderna involves a partnership in the testing of a vaccine to protect people against covid-19. Although we do not yet know the precise financial details of this partnership, it is interesting to note a few things already known, including its main objective.

The contract proposed to Roche by Moderna concerns the provision of Roche's Elecsys Ab test range to Moderna. This range of tests has already been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on 25 November. Specifically, the test in question, which is the Elecsys anti-SARS-CoV-2 S test, was developed to measure the quantity and level of antibodies in participants in clinical trials of this vaccine. Its main purpose is therefore to establish some form of correlation between this vaccine and protection against the disease, as stated by the Roche Group in its press release this morning.


Some additional information provided by Roche:

In an official press release this morning, the Roche Group also announced, through Thomas Schinecker, the current head of the Diagnostics Division of the Swiss laboratory: "We are pleased to note that our test (....), which targets the nucleocapsid protein, is now also being used in tests on the Moderna vaccine, which could eventually help to end this pandemic".

This press release also provides further details regarding the precise operation of the test developed by Roche. The test targets antibodies to the specific region of the protein required for the virus to enter the host cell.It is therefore known that the presence of these antibodies in the body can show that a person has already been infected and may have developed some form of immunity to the virus. Such immunity must be demonstrated as part of the evaluation of the efficacy of a vaccine as it characterises the immune response induced by the vaccine, Roche says.

For the time being, the market seems relatively unresponsive to this announcement, but it will probably be necessary to wait to learn more about the financial details of this partnership to measure the likely beneficial effects of this alliance.