Moderna Stock Rises After Oppenheimer Upgrade on Pipeline Potential

Artur Widak | Nurfoto | fake images

Actions of modern jumped more than 15% on Tuesday after Oppenheimer upgraded the stock to “outperform,” saying the Covid vaccine maker could market five products by 2026.

The update follows a dismal 2023 for Moderna, whose only commercially available product is its Covid vaccine. The company’s shares have long been linked to its vaccine, and its shares fell nearly 40% last year as demand for Covid products plummeted around the world.

Hartaj Singh, an analyst at Oppenheimer, said the company’s Covid sales could hit a low point in 2024 due to factors such as vaccine fatigue. But the company expects Covid vaccine sales to increase in 2025 and beyond as Covid education and spending on awareness about the disease increases.

Singh was even more optimistic about Moderna’s potential, highlighting a handful of potential product launches over the next 12 to 18 months that could boost sales in 2025.

That includes a possible approval this year of Moderna’s experimental vaccine that aims to protect older adults from respiratory syncytial virus, which typically causes mild cold-like symptoms but more severe cases in older people and children.

The company has said the Food and Drug Administration will make a decision on its RSV vaccine in April.

Moderna’s experimental flu vaccine could also gain approval in 2024 or 2025, Singh yesaid. In September, the company said its vaccine produced a stronger immune response against four strains of the virus than a flu vaccine currently available in a late-stage trial.

Singh also said Moderna could apply for FDA approval of its experimental personalized cancer vaccine in 2024 or 2025. The company may apply for accelerated approval from the FDA, which allows accelerated approval of drugs that treat serious diseases and fill the which the agency calls an “unmet medical need” based on a specific metric from a clinical trial.

Moderna and her partner merck They are currently studying the shot in combination with Merck’s successful Keytruda therapy to treat patients with a deadly skin cancer called melanoma and other cancers.

Also on Tuesday, Moderna reiterated in a letter to shareholders that it expects to see sales growth in 2025. The company highlighted its RSV vaccine and the possible approval of its combination shot aimed at Covid and flu, which could arrive “as soon as 2025”.

Moderna during its third-quarter results in November said it expects revenue to fall to $4 billion. in 2024 before returning to growth in 2025. The company also said in November that it would only reach the lower end of its sales forecast of between $6 billion and $8 billion by 2023, reflecting weaker demand for Covid vaccines.

Moderna has also said it plans to launch up to 15 products over the next five years, a goal it first outlined during its annual research and development day in September.

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