Moderna Gets A 'Booster' Shot: Why Stock Is Up Nearly 7% Today

Zinger Key Points
  • Moderna may not be a one-trick pony as it is close to securing approval for a second vaccine.
  • The company's RSV vaccine candidate appears likely approvable and “plausibly competitive" with rival vaccines: SVB Leerink analyst

Moderna, Inc. MRNA shares were solidly higher in premarket trading on Wednesday.

What Happened: The upside in Moderna’s shares comes in reaction to a clinical readout announced late Tuesday, which showed that the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company’s mRNA vaccine targeting the respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, in older adults aced a late-stage study. Following the data, the stock also received a price target boost.

A review of mRNA-1345, the vaccine candidate, by an independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board showed that the study, dubbed ConquerRSV, met the primary efficacy endpoints. Vaccine efficacy was at 83.7% against RSV-associated lower respiratory tract disease. The company said it intends to file for regulatory approval in the first half of 2023.'

See also: Best Biotech Stocks Right Now

Analyst Ups Success Probability: Based on high-level comparison with the efficacy of RSV vaccines of rival manufacturers Pfizer, Inc. PFE, GlaxoSmithKline plc GSK and Johnson & Johnson JNJ, the vaccine candidate appears likely approvable and “plausibly competitive” with the agents from rivals, SVB Leerink analyst Mani Foroohar said in a note.

The analyst, however, said the limited disclosure offers an incomplete picture for comparison and noted that the study is ongoing. He increased the probability of success for the program from 50% to 85% and increased his estimate for 2024 market penetration. Moderna could use one of its Priority Review Vouchers for mRNA-1345, allowing approval in time to give a more fulsome opportunity to participate in the 2024 contracting season, he added.

Foroohar reiterated a Market Perform rating on Moderna shares and raised the price target from $102 to $111.

Price Action: In premarket trading on Wednesday, Moderna shares were rising 6.43% to $202.95, according to Benzinga Pro data.

Read next: Biogen's 2nd Alzheimer's Antibody, BeiGene's Cancer Drug Label Expansion, Adcom Test For Regeneron And More: January PDUFA Catalysts For Biotech Investors

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