COVID - 19 vaccine is still effective, says Moderna

COVID - 19 vaccine is still effective, says Moderna

orna said its COVID - 19 vaccine remained effective six months after the second shot, as it reported second-quarter earnings and revenue that beat expectations.

A final analysis of the company's late stage study, described in a statement on Thursday, suggests the vaccine's protection remains stable after recipients complete the standard two-dose regimen. The initial efficacy level is short of 93% of the shot's effect efficiency, in 5 days.

Concern that the effectiveness of COVID - 19 vaccines could wane has encouraged talk of booster shots and some countries have begun to offer vulnerable people third doses. However, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for a moratorium on such measures on Wednesday until more people in the developing world are inoculated. The recommendation could limit the reach of Moderna's shot, called Spikevax.

The shares fell 2.9% at 8:28 a.m. the day before U.S. markets opened Thursday. COVID -19 vaccine maker BioNTech lost 0.6%, while its partner Pfizer lost 3.8%.

Moderna's latest clinical efficacy data hasn't been published in medical journals and further details hadn't been released. Despite the emergent endurance of its vaccine, Moderna is exploring options for supplemental shots that could repel emerging strains of the virus.

All three company booster candidates produced 'human antibody responses' against Delta and other variants of concern in a phase 2 human study, Moderna said in its statement. The boosters are being tested at a dose of 50 microgram or half what is used in the current shot. That data was submitted to a journal for publication, the company said.

International Business News Group said it expects to complete its submission for full Food and Drug Administration approval for its vaccine this month.

The agency is evaluating the submission for a rival messenger RNA vaccine by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, and is currently under growing pressure to complete the process quickly. With the delta variant sparking a new wave of cases, advocates say an approval could help convince more people to get shots.

Moderna, which reported its first profit earlier this year, had net income of almost $2.8 billion in the quarter ending June 30 on revenue of $4.4 billion, almost all from its COVID - 19 shot. Diluted earnings per share of $6.46 easily exceeded analysts expectations, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts, while revenues significantly beat expectations

The company said in the release that it signed $20 billion worth of COVID - 19 vaccine purchase agreements for 2021, up from the $19.2 billion it announced last May. For 2022, it already has contracts for $12 billion in vaccine sales with options for $8 billion more. Moderna didn't increased its forecast that it will produce $800 million to 1 billion COVID doses this year.

Moderna's views for the total sales of its COVID-19 vaccine pale in comparison to Pfizer-BioNTech partnership, which has a higher manufacturing capacity for its shot. Last month, Pfizer further increased its vaccine sales forecast for 2021 to $33.5 billion.

Moderna shares have quadrupled since the beginning of the year, and the company hit $100 billion in market value for the first time on 14 July. The stock was made a member of the S&P 500 last month and is the best performer on the index this calendar year.

As a biotech seeks to grow further, it will look for opportunities to acquire or license technologies that could improve its platform. Moderna, which has more than $12 billion in cash and investments, will be focused on nucleic acid technologies, such as mRNA, gene editing, and gene therapy, the company said in a presentation.

Moderna has also doubled down its commercial suite to double down on its prestigious franchises. In the last quarter, the company hired Kate Cronin, a former Johnson Johnson executive, to serve as chief medical officer, and Ogilvy’s Paul Burton as chief brand officer.