Is Moderna a Buy? (Opposing Viewpoints)

5 Top Stocks to Buy With the $1,200 Coronavirus Stimulus Check (Buy)

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President Trump has signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, and has initiated a $2-trillion stimulus package, the largest relief bill in the history of America. And part of the package is the one-time $1,200 cash payments that Americans will receive, provided they qualify.

Needless to say, an extra $1,200 from the federal government is always welcome and it’s widely expected that such stimulus checks will start to arrive around the middle of April. The IRS and Treasury Department, by the way, said that nine out of 10 Americans may qualify for the stimulus checks, which will eventually ease the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Obviously, the money is required to make ends meet in such trying times. But for those who have already set up emergency funds to tackle the pandemic, the stimulus check will provide extra cash which can be used in securing their financial future by investing in stocks.

There are plenty of appealing stocks right now. But given the situation investing in biotech companies that are widely expected to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus seems judicious. Notable among such companies are Moderna, Inc. MRNA and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. REGN.

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (“CEPI”) has agreed to fund clinical stage biotechnology company, Moderna, for manufacturing a new vaccine. CEPI is a public-private coalition that is known for its initiatives to prevent future epidemics. CEPI selected Moderna due to its positive results from a Phase 1 clinical readout for its prophylactic vaccine.

Moderna’s CEO Stéphane Bancel had said that “we believe our mRNA vaccine technology offers potential advantages in the speed of development and production scalability, which positions Moderna to potentially develop a vaccine against coronavirus, 2019-nCoV.” 

It’s worth pointing out that unlike DNA-based treatments, Moderna focuses on developing mRNA treatments, which should help in treating the virus better. DNA-based treatments generally require the nucleus of the cell but mRNA can be found across the cell which makes it easily accessible.

Moderna’s stock is trading at around $34.84. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). More here.

Moderna: A $12 Billion Brand Built On Hope And mRNA (Avoid)

Moderna (MRNA) put mRNA technology on the map, however, this technology has not yet proven itself convincingly in clinical trials. The concept of making your own body behave like a drug manufacturing engine is interesting, but it has its hurdles. One hurdle is the body's own immune system, which may reject the mRNA; the other is whether the technology will produce enough proteins to make a difference – with the human body, you never know what will trigger a cascade of unpredictable events that could foil the “best laid plans of men,” however smart. Delivery into cells is another issue. Everything always boils down to human trials – and here, Moderna is not there yet.

Most of the biotech investing rules I follow tell me Moderna is an absolute avoid. Here's why.

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