Nov 29, 2021
Moderna surges after saying Omicron vaccine ready early 2022
Moderna will have longer and larger tail to revenues if Omicron becomes dominant variant: Moderna analyst
Moderna Inc. posted its best two-day rally in a year after the company said a new vaccine to fight the omicron strain of the coronavirus could be ready by early 2022 if required.
The stock jumped 12 per cent to the highest level since Sept. 30 after surging 21 per cent during Friday’s global risk-asset selloff, to reclaim its place as top performer on the S&P 500 year-to-date. The company mobilized hundreds of workers on Thanksgiving Day last Thursday in order to start work on omicron, Chief Medical Officer Paul Burton said over the weekend.
Moderna’s mRNA technology is ideally suited to adapting vaccines to new variants, according to Piper Sandler analyst Edward A. Tenthoff, who has an overweight rating on the stock.
“Moderna is in a better position to develop novel COVID-19 vaccines, and now has capacity to manufacture several hundred million vaccine doses every month,” Tenthoff wrote in a note to clients. “SARS-CoV-2 is not going away and will provide years of future revenues.”
Jefferies analyst Michael Yee also struck an optimistic tone for Moderna investors, saying the latest spread should encourage people to get boosted sooner rather than later, while the biotech focuses on a new version for 2022. Moderna “can advance new candidates to clinical trials within 60-90 days,” he said.
BioNTech SE closed 4.2 per cent higher in U.S. trading after saying it is working to adapt its COVID-19 vaccine to address the omicron variant and expects to have a new version ready within 100 days if necessary. The biotech and its COVID vaccine partner Pfizer Inc. put plans into place months ago. Pfizer shares closed 3 per cent lower.