Emma’s Note: Emma Walsh here, managing editor of the Diary.

Tech isn’t our usual beat. But with the whole world watching the biotechnology companies developing anti-COVID-19 vaccines, this tech sector is now firmly in the spotlight.

Our colleague Jeff Brown is one of those watching developments in biotech with interest. But it’s not the big names like Moderna and Pfizer that he has his eye on…

Moderna (MRNA) used to be a “boring” stock.

Just look at the chart of its stock price from its initial public offering back in 2018 to the beginning of this year…


It essentially traded flat for over a year. Headlines over that time period announced things like “Moderna Stock Pops 4.2% on Clinical Update” and “Here’s Why Moderna Lost 29.6% in June.”

Not the most exciting stock to have in your portfolio…

But then in late February, everything changed.

Have a look at Moderna’s progress this year…


It’s taken off… At the time of writing, it’s soared almost 700% year to date.

We likely already know what happened…

Moderna is one of the companies that leapt into the ring to develop a vaccine for COVID-19.

And while Moderna is one of a handful of biotechnology companies getting headlines right now, it’s far from the only winner in this new golden age of biotech.

Moderna’s Unique Approach

What makes Moderna’s approach unique is that its vaccine uses messenger RNA (mRNA) to produce an immune response.

How does that work?

Our genetic code determines our traits and bodily functions. It’s a genetic “blueprint.”

But the genes themselves don’t do the work. They require proteins to carry out specific functions.

mRNA is the link between genes and proteins. The information contained within genes is transcribed into mRNA. That mRNA then tells the body what proteins to produce to carry out different functions.

Moderna’s vaccine mimics this process. It uses synthetic mRNA to tell the body to produce proteins that look like COVID-19. That helps the body produce antibodies to fight the virus and build immunity.

Here’s the point I want to emphasize…

Before COVID-19, this type of synthetic biology was mostly theoretical. It was like “the Wild West” of the biotechnology space.

But the pandemic has forced the biotechnology industry to leap forward.

Moderna designed its vaccine in just 42 days. That’s incredible. It normally takes years to get to a working vaccine.

In September, Moderna released data demonstrating that its COVID-19 vaccine is effective in older adults.

In fact, the vaccine created an immune response in people over 56 years old that was on par with the response observed in adults 18–55 years old.

On November 30, Moderna released the full analysis for its Phase 3 clinical trials for its vaccine.

The data was encouraging, suggesting that the vaccine is 94.1% effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. It appears to be safe as well, with only headaches and other mild reactions in those who’ve taken the vaccine.

And Moderna pointed out that its vaccine was 100% effective against severe cases of COVID-19.

This is huge.

On the back of these results, Moderna filed for emergency use authorization at the end of November. That means the vaccine could be available to many within mere weeks.

As exciting as this is, the developments with Moderna speak to a larger trend. It’s something every serious technology investor should be paying close attention to.

A Golden Age of Biotechnology

It may sound strange to say that anything “good” has come from the COVID-19 pandemic. But for the biotechnology industry – and biotechnology investors – 2020 has been a banner year.

The biotechnology industry has shown that it’s able to move faster than we’ve ever imagined. Vaccines that usually take years of development are appearing in just months.

The pandemic has opened the doors for radical new approaches to vaccines and therapies that would have seemed impossible even just a year ago.

And that’s led to a flood of capital into this space. Venture capital funding of biotech companies is at a record high… reaching an astounding $34.6 billion so far this year.


And biotech initial public offerings have raked in roughly $23 billion for drug development this year.

There’s suddenly more awareness of biotechnology companies than ever before. COVID-19 has thrust them into the spotlight.

This leads to an obvious question: Which biotechnology stocks do we want to own?

My No. 1 Biotech Recommendation Today

Readers may be surprised to learn that Moderna stock isn’t currently in any of the model portfolios for my paid research services…

At the time of writing, Moderna’s enterprise value-to-sales (EV/sales) ratio is at 239. That’s the equivalent of 239 years of revenue, not profit. And while the number has dropped from over 300 in recent months, it’s still an extremely expensive valuation.

That means investors getting in at this level will likely lose money in the long run. A valuation like this just isn’t sustainable.

But there’s another stock… a small-cap biotech… that I’ve been watching for some time.

For comparison, its EV/sales ratio is about 17 right now. And this company is on the verge of making a truly groundbreaking announcement about one of its clinical trials.

And when that news breaks, I believe this small stock could soar as much as 1,000% in a single day.

This is a stock I don’t want any of our readers to miss.

If you’d like to find out all the details, I’m putting together a special presentation called The Cure Event. It will air on December 9 at 8 p.m. ET.

Please join me on that night. You can reserve your spot – for free – right here.

I look forward to seeing you then.


Jeff Brown

Editor, Exponential Tech Investor

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