Moderna Inks 100M COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Supply Deal With US

Moderna Inc. has won another order for the supply of 100 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the US government. Shares rose 1.3% in Thursday’s extended trading session after closing 2.3% higher on the day.  

Moderna (MRNA) said that the new order for its mRNA-1273 vaccine takes the total US purchases to 300 million doses. The additional COVID-19 vaccine doses ordered will be handed before the end of July 2021. The mRNA therapeutics and vaccines company confirmed that it remains on track to deliver the first 100 million vaccine doses in the first quarter of 2021 and the second order of 100 million doses in May 2021.

Moderna’s vaccine triggers an antibody response specifically to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and has demonstrated efficacy of 94.1% against COVID-19.

To date, the company has supplied 41 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to the US government. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 22 million Americans have already received Moderna’s vaccine.

“We appreciate the confidence that the US government has demonstrated in our COVID-19 Vaccine,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel commented. “We continue to scale up our manufacturing capability, both in and outside of the United States. Our goal is to bring our vaccine to as many people as possible around the world to help end this pandemic.”

Furthermore, Moderna said that is seeking ways to speed up the delivery of the new order of 100 million doses to before the end of July 2021, while working with its domestic manufacturing partners and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Separately, the biotech company announced that the Qatar Ministry of Public Health has authorized emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine. Earlier this week, Moderna inked two COVID-19 vaccine supply agreements, one with the government of Taiwan for 5 million doses and another with the government of Colombia for 10 million doses. Deliveries would be rolled out in mid-2021, once the vaccine’s use has been approved in Taiwan or Colombia.

The use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized by health agencies in the US, Canada, Israel, the European Union, the UK, Switzerland and Singapore.

Shares of Moderna have ballooned 109% over the past three months and have exploded 863% over the past year. Nonetheless, Oppenheimer analyst Hartaj Singh on Jan. 31 ramped up the stock’s price target to a Street-high of $206 (12% upside potential) from $178 and reiterated a Buy rating as he views Moderna as the “premium player” among COVID-19 vaccine makers.

“It is still apparent to us that MRNA’s COVID-19 vaccine has good efficacy against newer variants,” Singh wrote in a note to investors. “MRNA’s ability to scale its manufacturing from a projected ~600M doses in FY21 to ~1B and then more in 2022 still makes it the premium vaccine player.”

“We believe MRNA’s coronavirus vaccines could see a longer revenue tail than expected,” the analyst added. (See Moderna stock analysis on TipRanks).

Meanwhile, Wall Street analysts still have a cautiously optimistic outlook on the stock with a Moderate Buy consensus rating. That’s based on 7 Buys, 5 Holds and 3 Sells. Following the recent sharp rally, the average price target stands at $152 and implies that 17% downside potential lies ahead.

On TipRanks’ Smart Score rating system, MRNA scores a 9 out of 10, which indicates that the stock has a strong likelihood to outperform market expectations.

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