Moderna’s skin cancer drug OK’d for quick US government review

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts: Moderna Inc’s experimental personalized mRNA skin cancer vaccine, used in combination with Merck and Co Inc’s drug Keytruda, have received the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s breakthrough therapy designation.

The designation is granted to expedite the development and review of drugs that are intended to treat serious conditions.

The breakthrough tag is granted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration based upon data from a mid-stage study of the drug that showed the therapy reduced the risk of skin cancer’s recurrence and death by 44 percent, compared with Keytruda alone.

Shares of Moderna rose 2.5 percent to $164 after news of the expedited designation.