Moderna Inks Multiple Deals with South Korea on mRNA-1273 Vaccines

Shares of Moderna Inc. (MRNA) declined 2.7% to close at $161.45 on May 21 after the biotech company disclosed an alliance with the government of South Korea and a separate manufacturing and supply agreement with Samsung Biologics.

Moderna has signed 3 MOUs with different agencies in South Korea to conduct scientific research on mRNA vaccines and evaluate local manufacturing opportunities.

Moderna also revealed that it has signed a manufacturing, services, and supply agreement with Samsung Biologics in South Korea.  Samsung Biologics will be responsible for extensive, commercial fill-finish manufacturing for COVID-19 Vaccine to support the production of hundreds of millions of doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Moderna plans to start the supply in markets outside of the U.S. in the third quarter of 2021. (See Moderna stock analysis on TipRanks)

Moderna’s CEO Stéphane Bancel commented, “We thank the South Korean government and we look forward to exploring this collaboration to bring mRNA vaccines that may help address areas of unmet need.”

He added, “We will continue to explore options for establishing potential local manufacturing opportunities in South Korea.”

Moderna’s application for Conditional Marketing Authorization for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in adults aged 18 years and older was also approved by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety of South Korea (MFDS).

With the deals, South Korea can secure 40 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine.

On May 21, Piper Sandler analyst Edward Tenthoff reiterated a Buy rating and a price target of $231 (43.1% upside potential) on the stock.

Tenthoff believes that the approval of mRNA-1273 by the Japanese and South Korean governments will spur additional growth for the vaccine. He expects mRNA-1273 revenues of $13.07B and $21.25B in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

Overall, the stock has a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on 6 Buys, 4 Holds, and 2 Sells. The average analyst price target of $174.18 implies 7.9% upside potential to current levels. Shares have jumped 180% over the past year.

TipRanks data shows that financial blogger opinions are 84% Bullish on Moderna, compared to a sector average of 69%.

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