Moderna Raises COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Estimate, Sending Stock Higher

Moderna Inc MRNA shares were advancing Monday after the coronavirus vaccine manufacturer issued an update on its supply goals.

What Happened: Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna said it is raising the base-case 2021 global production estimate for its investigational coronavirus vaccine mRNA-1273 from 500 million doses to 600 million doses.

With the revised estimate, the company is shooting for a vaccine supply of 600 million to 1 billion doses in 2021.

The company said it continuing to invest and add staff to meet the higher end of the supply target.

Moderna expects to make available to the U.S. about 100 million doses of mRNA-1273 by the end of the first quarter and an additional 200 million doses by the end of the second quarter. About 18 million doses have already been supplied to the U.S. government to date, the company said. 

Additional vaccine doses have also been supplied to the Canadian government following authorization by Health Canada on Dec. 23.

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"Our effectiveness in providing early supply to the U.S. and Canadian governments and our ability to increase baseline production estimates for 2021 are both signals that our scale up of mRNA vaccine production is a success," Juan Andres, Moderna's chief technical operations and quality officer, said in a statement. 

Moderna has agreed to supply 200 million doses of the vaccine candidate to the U.S. government, with the agreement also carrying an option to buy an incremental 300 million doses. The contract with Canada requires a supply of 40 million doses.

Why It's Important: The COVID-19 pandemic is far from being under control, with reports of new mutations of SARS-CoV-2 emerging. 

Due to constrained supply, the U.S. government is reportedly contemplating administering half the recommended dose level of Moderna's vaccine to some people.

Against this backdrop, Moderna's announcement comes as a welcome relief. Sell-side estimates call for Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine revenue to come anywhere between $10 billion and $20 billion.

MRNA Price Action: At last check, Moderna shares were rising 7.06% to $111.85. 

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Posted In: CoronavirusCovid-19vaccineBiotechNewsGuidanceHealth CareMoversTrading IdeasGeneral

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