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Cambridge drugmaker readies possible coronavirus vaccine for testing

A man wearing a protective mask walked Tuesday outside the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona where a woman was hospitalised in a suspected case of coronavirus.PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

Cambridge-based drugmaker Moderna has shipped its first batch of a possible coronavirus vaccine for humans to government researchers for testing.

Shares of the biotech company soared early Tuesday, a day after the company said it sent vials to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for early-stage testing in the United States.

More than 80,000 people have been infected globally from the viral outbreak that began late last year in China. A total of 35 cases have been reported in the United States.

More than 2,600 people have died from the virus in mainland China, including one U.S. citizen.

Shares of Moderna Inc. jumped nearly 16%, or $2.92, to $21.51 in premarket trading.

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The stock started trading in late 2018 and set an all-time high price of $29.79 last April, according to FactSet.