Moderna was among the stock darlings that led the meteoric rise of the market, following the ‘Great Pandemic Crash’, as one of the first companies to develop a vaccine to fight Covid19 back in 2021.
Since then, Moderna lost some of that ‘star’ status, falling by about 75% from its $497 high, down to as low as $115, as the Covid Pandemic appeared to be under control, and as the Fed-induced bear ravaged the general markets.
But looking at the recent stock performance of MRNA, things are starting to look up once again.
As a result of the success of its COVID-19 vaccine, which was developed using its revolutionary mRNA platform, Moderna generated billions in revenue. This success not only provided a significant financial boost for the company, but also validated the potential of its mRNA technology to revolutionize the development of other drugs and treatments.
Building on its successful mRNA platform, Moderna has created a new era of drug development, and is on the verge of unlocking a treasure trove of potential treatments and cures.
Currently, the company has several drugs in various trial stages, each potentially changing the way we think about medicine.
And following a wave of promising clinical trials, the future’s looking bright for Moderna as they gear up to battle in a new biotech front, and looks like they’re going to continue making a killing (figuratively, of course).
And for this week, let’s take a look at what they are cooking in their labs! You’re not included, Walter White.
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Moderna is Opening New Battlefronts in the Biotech Industry
This January, the stock price of Moderna was showing an upward trend, following the release of encouraging test results for its experimental RSV vaccine.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a common virus that causes symptoms similar to a cold, but it can be fatal for infants and older adults with weak or compromised immune systems.
Moderna’s RSV vaccine was tested on 37,000 people aged 60 or older and was found to be 84% effective against mild cases and more than 82% effective against severe cases. This puts Moderna’s vaccine in close competition with those from Pfizer and GSK, which are also undergoing FDA review.
But Their Venture into Producing Cancer Vaccines Could be a Game Changer
Moderna, in partnership with Merck, has also announced positive results from their clinical trial of combining Moderna’s personalized cancer vaccine with Merck’s Keytruda treatment in melanoma patients.
The trial showed that patients who received the combination treatment had a 44% lower chance of relapse or death, compared to those who received Keytruda alone.
Moderna’s vaccine aims to create T cells that can fight cancer, in case of recurrence.
Merck participated in the cancer vaccine program, after making an initial payment of $250 million to Moderna, for the opportunity to collaborate in the development and commercialization of the cancer vaccine.
The companies intend to commence Phase 3 testing in melanoma next year, and will investigate other possible combinations with Keytruda.
If Moderna and Merck manage to make this work effectively, this could indeed be a game changer not only for these two companies, but also for humanity.
But it Doesn’t End Here
Moderna is currently conducting Phase 3 trials for four vaccines: COVID, Flu, RSV, and CMV. While the company’s COVID vaccine is already established, the Flu, RSV, and CMV vaccines are crucial for building sustainable revenue streams, and utilizing its technology to develop more advanced vaccines. This is not counting the other 44 development programs already underway.
Latest Numbers from Moderna
The latest corporate data that came from Moderna, however, disappointed analysts.
Moderna reported that they have $17 billion in cash and investments, representing 23% of its total market value.
In the last quarter, the company generated $3.4 billion in revenue, and $1.0 billion in net income, which equates to an annual net income of $4 billion. This results in a price-to-earnings ratio of approximately 15, which is generally considered a good ratio.
The company expects to generate $18.5 billion in annual revenue for the year, despite some deliveries being pushed back to 2023.
It has also completed its previously announced $3 billion share buyback program, and has initiated another $3 billion buyback program. In the last quarter, the company repurchased shares at an average price of $141, which is quite a good amount from the current price of around $194.
As COVID-19 becomes more widespread, Moderna predicts that the annual global demand for its vaccines will be comparable to, or even greater than, the demand for flu shots. This is because COVID-19 is a more severe virus than the flu, and therefore more people will likely require vaccination.
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Of Course, Not Everything is Rosy for Moderna
Moderna’s market capitalization is currently valued at nearly $75 billion, which is high, considering the company’s projected COVID-19 vaccine sales for this year are only at $5 billion. It is also worth noting that the Covid vaccine is their only commercially available product.
While the approval of its RSV vaccine could potentially lead to growth for Moderna in 2024 and 2025, the competition with Pfizer and GSK in that area may be intense, and its success with Covid is not guaranteed to be replicated.
Also, it is uncertain how much demand there will be for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, or what the pricing will be, once it becomes available for purchase in the private market.
Still, it is crucial to keep in mind that Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine was designed in an impressive two days without the need to work with live virus, showcasing the efficiency and capabilities of its mRNA platform.
While it’s true that investing in Moderna comes with its fair share of risk, the company has the potential to be a major success over the long term with its mRNA technology, and win the war against the established pharmaceutical giants.
Let’s just wait for them to finish what they are cooking. Erm, I said not you Walter.
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