Will Moderna (MRNA) Continue to Ride on Vaccine Sales in 2022?

·4 min read

Moderna MRNA thrived on the success of its mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine, Spikevax (mRNA-1273), for a major part of 2021. We expect the successful development of its COVID-19 vaccine for younger individuals and variant-specific booster doses to likely push the demand for them in 2022. Although the COVID-19 vaccine will be the major revenue driver for Moderna in 2022, pipeline updates are likely to be key share price drivers this year.

Shares of Moderna have gained 58% in the past year against the industry’s decline of 33.7%.

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Spikevax was first granted emergency use authorization (“EUA”) for use in adults in December 2020 in the United States. Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine gained similar authorizations in more than 50 countries following its FDA authorization. The EUA for use in adolescents is under review in the United States.

Meanwhile, the FDA and the European Commission have granted authorization for a third or booster dose in adults at high risk of severe COVID-19 or with frequent institutional or occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2. The third dose is also available for adolescents in Europe.

In 2021, Moderna shipped more than 800 million doses of Spikevax, recording $17.5 billion in product sales. The company had no product sales in the first nine months of 2020 and recorded nearly $200 million, solely from deliveries of Spikevax in the fourth quarter. During 2020, grant revenues to support the development of mRNA-1273 from U.S. government entities were the major revenue driver. Prior to the development of its COVID-19 vaccine, Moderna recorded revenues of $60 million and $135 million in 2019 and 2018, respectively.

Moderna expects to record revenues of at least $18.5 billion in product sales in 2022, solely from Spikevax sales. The company has an option to deliver additional doses worth $3.5 billion this year. Although product sales will be a significant amount in 2022, the year-over-year growth will be strikingly lower than the growth rate in 2021. Shares of Moderna have already been exhibiting a declining trend since mid-August last year.

Currently, Moderna is developing its COVID-19 vaccine for use in kids aged 6 months to 11 years. The company is also developing an Omicron-specific booster dose for use in adults as well as adolescents to provide protection against the variant that is currently driving infection cases worldwide. Successful developments of the vaccine for new-age groups and the Omicron-specific booster dose may bring additional revenues.

Apart from the COVID-19 vaccine, Moderna is developing multiple pipeline candidates. Data readouts from clinical studies are likely to be the key catalyst for Moderna’s shares in 2022.

Late last year, Moderna initiated a phase III study to evaluate cytomegalovirus (“CMV”) vaccine candidate — mRNA-1647. This is the leading candidate in Moderna’s pipeline. The company is developing its seasonal influenza vaccine in a phase II study and planning for a phase III study is underway. Another phase II/III study is evaluating Moderna’s respiratory syncytial virus (“RSV”) vaccine.

Moderna is also developing an mRNA-based therapeutic, AZD8601, in collaboration with AstraZeneca AZN for treating vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A). AstraZeneca is conducting clinical studies on the candidate.

AstraZeneca announced last year that a phase II study evaluating AZD8601 for treating VEGF-A met its primary endpoint of safety and tolerability.

Moderna is also developing a cancer vaccine and an mRNA-based therapeutic for cystic fibrosis (“CF”) in collaboration with Merck MRK and Vertex Pharmaceuticals VRTX, respectively.

The collaboration with Merck to develop a cancer vaccine is targeting a novel approach of protection against the deadly disease instead of developing treatment options.

A phase II study is evaluating the cancer vaccine candidate — mRNA-4157 — in combination with Merck’s Keytruda for the adjuvant treatment of high-risk resected melanoma.

Vertex is expected to file an investigational new drug application for the mRNA-based CF therapeutic, VXc-522, later this year.

Vertex is a leader in the field of CF therapeutics and the successful development of VXc-522 represents a significant opportunity for Moderna going forward.

Moderna has several other pipeline candidates in early- to mid-stage clinical studies along with multiple pre-clinical candidates. A positive update from the ongoing studies will drive Moderna’s shares in 2022.

Moderna, Inc. Price

Moderna, Inc. Price
Moderna, Inc. Price

Moderna, Inc. price | Moderna, Inc. Quote

Zacks Rank

Moderna currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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