Moderna: Phase 3 Trial and Additional BARDA Funding Outweigh IP Issues, Says Top Analyst

Moderna: Phase 3 Trial and Additional BARDA Funding Outweigh IP Issues, Says Top Analyst

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="On Sunday, Moderna (MRNA) disclosed it had been awarded an extra $472 million from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to further support the development of mRNA-1273, its experimental COVID-19 vaccine. The new award follows a $483 million grant provided by BARDA in April, which means Moderna has now received a total of $955 million in funding from the U.S. government.” data-reactid=”12″>On Sunday, Moderna (MRNA) disclosed it had been awarded an extra $472 million from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to further support the development of mRNA-1273, its experimental COVID-19 vaccine. The new award follows a $483 million grant provided by BARDA in April, which means Moderna has now received a total of $955 million in funding from the U.S. government.

The award coincides with the initiation of Moderna’s Phase 3 study of mRNA-1273. The study began on Monday with the dosing of the first patients in the 30,000-participant study across 87 trial sites. If all goes according to plan, efficacy data for the study could become available as soon as Thanksgiving.

After gaining nearly 385% since the turn of the year, Moderna shares experienced a rare setback last week following a ruling by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which rejected Moderna’s claim that Arbutus Biopharma’s US patent on lipid nanoparticle (LNP) formulations should be revoked.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="However, Chardan analyst Geulah Livshits argues the verdict will have little impact on Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine program.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”19″>However, Chardan analyst Geulah Livshits argues the verdict will have little impact on Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine program. 

The 5-star analyst commented, “We would not anticipate IP negotiations to delay mRNA-1273 commercialization given the obviously important public health impact of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and the high degree of motivation among government agencies to roll out a vaccine as soon as possible. Moreover, we believe awards supporting development of mRNA-1273 and broader manufacturing scale-up reduce COGS across the platform and to us suggest Moderna’s pipeline can become profitable even if royalty payments come into play in the future.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="To this end, Livshits rates MRNA a Buy along with a $95 price target, which implies nearly 20% upside from current levels. (To watch Livshits’ track record, click here)” data-reactid=”21″>To this end, Livshits rates MRNA a Buy along with a $95 price target, which implies nearly 20% upside from current levels. (To watch Livshits’ track record, click here)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="When it comes to Moderna, Livshits’ colleagues hardly deviate from the Chardan playbook. MRNA's Strong Buy consensus rating is based on 13 Buy ratings and 4 Holds. The Street thinks a 17% premium will be added to MRNA shares over the next 12 months, going by the $90.67 average price target. (See Moderna stock analysis on TipRanks)” data-reactid=”22″>When it comes to Moderna, Livshits’ colleagues hardly deviate from the Chardan playbook. MRNA’s Strong Buy consensus rating is based on 13 Buy ratings and 4 Holds. The Street thinks a 17% premium will be added to MRNA shares over the next 12 months, going by the $90.67 average price target. (See Moderna stock analysis on TipRanks)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="To find good ideas for healthcare stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.” data-reactid=”31″>To find good ideas for healthcare stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

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