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Moderna Withholds 1.63 Million Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine — Report

According to a report published by Reuters, Massachusetts-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology firm Moderna (MRNA) has put the supply of 1.63 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine on hold in Japan following a report of the vaccine’s vials being contaminated with particulate matter.

Moderna manufactures messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA)-based vaccines and therapeutics for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, rare diseases and infectious diseases. (See Moderna stock chart on TipRanks)

The company suspects the contamination could be the result of a manufacturing issue involving a production line at its contract manufacturing site in Spain. However, it said there have been no efficacy or safety issues.

Moderna said, “The company is investigating the reports and remains committed to working expeditiously with its partner, Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. (TAK), and regulators to address this.”

The vaccine lot, against which there were complaints, had 565,400 doses. The company said that it has put that lot and two adjacent ones on hold “out of an abundance of caution.”

On August 25, Brookline Capital Markets analyst Leah R. Cann maintained a Buy rating on the stock with a price target of $353 (11.3% downside potential). The analyst expects the company to report earnings per share (EPS) of $6.93 in the third quarter.

Overall, the stock has a Hold consensus rating based on 5 Buys, 7 Holds and 2 Sells. The average Moderna price target of $276.45 implies 30.5% downside potential. Shares of the company have gained 464.4% over the past year.

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