Following the success of its Covid-19 vaccine, Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) is hoping to add more arsenal to its product line; going by the latest update from its pipeline, that could soon become a reality.
On Tuesday, the company announced positive data from the late-stage study of its investigational respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine candidate. Specifically, in the Phase 3 clinical trial of mRNA-1345, the vaccine displayed an efficacy of 83.7% against RSV in older adults.
Though direct comparisons are hard to make, on the surface, the results compare well to the RSV studies of and GSK and Pfizer, whose offerings showed efficacy rates of 83% and 67%, respectively.
Usually, this common virus only causes minor symptoms, but in elderly adults and young children, it can result in serious illness. This fall, there were a lot of cases in the United States and Europe. So far, however, no vaccine has been authorized for the prevention of RSV.
The company expects to submit the vaccine for approval in the first half of the year; Jefferies’ Michael Yee thinks that it will be approved by H2, “at the earliest.”
“This further validates the strength of the mRNA platform and allows another potential revenue stream and further opens the door for the potential for combo vaccines which no other platforms can do,” the analyst noted.
Yee believes the data has “read-through” to the doublet (flu+covid) and triple (covid+flu+rsv) combo and thinks that here MRNA could be “differentiated” vs GSK and Pfizer. In light of the data, the company also remains “bullish” on combos. The fact Pfizer’s CEO has also touted the possibility for combo vaccines with the mRNA platform and is “investigating” studies for this, shows it is not just Moderna pushing the idea. Moderna’s combo trials are presently taking place, with data anticipated sometime this year.
All told, Yee maintained a Buy rating backed by a $275 price target, suggesting the shares will see growth of ~42% in the year ahead. (To watch Yee’s track record, click here)
Amongst Yee’s colleagues, 6 join him in the bull camp with 8 others staying on the fence, all culminating in a Moderate Buy consensus view. The shares are expected to change hands for a 13% premium a year from now, considering the average target currently stands at $219.92. (See Moderna stock forecast on TipRanks)
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.