Moderna says COVID - 19 vaccine efficacy stable

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Aug 5 - Moderna Inc reported on Thursday its COVID - 19 shot was about 93% effective six months after the first dose, showing hardly any difference from the 94% efficacy reported in its original clinical trial.

That compares favorably to the data released by rivals Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE last week in which they suggested their vaccine's effectiveness waned around 6% every two months, declining to around 84% six months after the first shot. Both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are based on messenger RNA technology.

We are very pleased that the COVID-19 vaccine efficacy is stable at 93% over four to six months, said Moderna Chief Executive Stphane Bancel. This effective duration will benefit the hundreds of millions of people that have been vaccinated up to date with Moderna vaccines.

Refinitiv posted second-quarter sales of $4.4 billion, slightly higher than an average estimate of $4.2 billion drawn by 10 analysts polled by Moderna. Its COVID-19 shot is the firm's first authorised product and sales were just $67 million in the same period last year.

The company reported $2.78 billion in net income in the quarter - $3.38 billion or $6.46 a share, beating expectations of $2.46 billion or $5.96 a share.

A durable vaccine could mean recipients may be able to wait longer between shots if they do eventually need a booster or may not even need additional doses to prevent COVID - 19.

Public health authorities around the world are grappling with the highly transmissible Delta variant and debating whether additional doses of COVID - 19 vaccines are safe, effective and necessary. Pfizer plans to ask for authorization for a third shot of its vaccine later this month and some countries - like Israel have already begun or plan to soon begin administering shots to older or otherwise vulnerable people.

Moderna said its ongoing studies of three different booster candidates induced unique antibody responses against important variants of concern. These include Gamma, Delta and Beta variants that were first identified in Brazil, South Africa and India respectively It said comparing antibody levels of after the boost to those observed after the second shot of its vaccine.

For the next year Moderna has signed $20 billion worth of sales and expects to be able to produce between 800 million and 1 billion doses of the vaccine. It has options for $ $12 billion in 2022, with additional terms or contracts for another $8 billion. It expects to be able to produce between 2 and 3 billion doses next year.

The company has not been able to keep pace with the production of much larger rival Pfizer, which expects to produce as many as 3 billion vaccine doses this year and forecasts 2021 sales of the vaccine https: www.reuters.com business healthcare-pharmaceuticals pfizer-raises - estimates - 2021 -- sales-covid — 19 -- vaccine - 335 -- bln - 2021 -- 07 - 28 it developed with BioNTech to top $3

Moderna's vaccine was approved for emergency use in adults in the United States in December and has since been authorized for emergency or conditional use in adults in more than 50 countries.

The company started the process of file for full approval with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in June and expects to be ready to begin its submission in August.