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Moderna Analyst On Why Coronavirus Vaccine Developer's Stock Is Long-Term Attractive

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Moderna Analyst On Why Coronavirus Vaccine Developer's Stock Is Long-Term Attractive

Even as major pharma companies face hiccups in their coronavirus vaccine programs, Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) is slowly and steadily progressing in its quest to obtain emergency use authorization for its vaccine candidate mRNA-1273 before the year is out. 

The Moderna Analyst: Needham analyst Alan Carr has a Buy rating on Moderna with a $94 price target. 

The Moderna Takeaways: With Moderna guiding for results from the ongoing Phase 3 trial of mRNA-1273 to come early as November, emergency use authorization could arrive before the end of 2020, Carr said in a Tuesday note. 

Needham estimates mRNA-1273 sales of $400 million in the fourth quarter, $2 billion in 2021 and $1 billion in 2022.

The overall neutralizing antibody data from the additional interim Phase 1 readout and the interim Phase 2 readout released in September suggests the vaccine has durable effect, the analyst said. 

Related Link: The Week Ahead In Biotech: J&J Earnings Kickstarts Pharma Earnings, More IPOs In The Pipeline

Looking at the rest of Moderna's pipeline, he said enrollment has resumed in a Phase 2b trial of the hMPV/PIV3 vaccine mRNA-1653 following a suspension in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

An investigational new drug application for the pediatric RSV vaccine mRNA-1345 was submitted in August, Carr said.

Moderna has also planned to resume development of an mRNA-based seasonal influenza vaccine, likely in combination with other respiratory vaccines, and possibly COVID-19, the analyst said. 

An IND submission for mRNA-3705 in methylmalonic acidemia is expected, he said. 

Material updates from Moderna's oncology and cardiovascular disease programs are unlikely to come in the fourth quarter, Carr said. 

Progress on mRNA-1273 as a vaccine for COVID-19 represents an upside opportunity, the analyst said.

"We believe the stock is attractive in the long-term, given validation of the Moderna mRNA platform and an extensive diversified pipeline." 

MRNA Price Action: Moderna shares were trading 3.56% higher to $77.99 at last check Tuesday. 

Related Link: FDA's COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance Shows 'Substantial' Obligations For Developers: Analyst

Latest Ratings for MRNA

DateFirmActionFromTo
Oct 2020Chardan CapitalMaintainsBuy
Sep 2020SVB LeerinkDowngradesMarket PerformUnderperform
Aug 2020SVB LeerinkMaintainsMarket Perform

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