Moderna, the Cambridge, MA-based biotech with a promising COVID-19 vaccine in development, has hired Avenue Solutions for DC representation.

Avenue Solutions bills itself as the "all-female, all-Democratic firm specialized in representing pro-business interests on Capitol Hill."

Tracy Spicer, founding partner and former deputy chief of staff & political director for Sen. Ted Kennedy, spearheads the push for Moderna.

Moderna’s phase II clinical trial for its mRNA-1273 vaccine is expected to begin on July 27.

That drug has sparked a 385 percent surge in Moderna’s stock price this year, though JP Morgan Chase downgraded its shares on July 20 from “overweight” to “neutral.”

The bank remains bullish on Moderna’s “long-term outlook, disruptive platform (in the vaccine space and otherwise) and chances of being one of the first companies to bring a COVID-19 vaccine to market,” according to its research note.

It said momentum from the mRNA-1273 vaccine “could certainly drive Moderna even higher, but we’re simply unable to continue to fundamentally justify it.”

Avenue Solutions, which picked up the JPMorgan Chase account earlier this year, has done work for the American Medical Assn., Merck, UnitedHealth Group, ExxonMobil and Environmental Working Group.

PR heavyweight Ray Jordan, a veteran of Amgen, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, joined Moderna in June to head its corporate affairs unit.