Moderna was founded in 2010 and only had its IPO in December 2018. So far, the company did not have any sales and all its revenues came from grants, namely, from DARPA, BARDA, and Gates Foundation. Its second revenue stream is from collaborations, mainly with companies such as AstraZeneca, Merck, Vertex and Alexion.
Moderna works on mRNA medicines, which enables cells to produce the required proteins (including antibodies) necessary to fight pathogens or even cancer cells. In normal vaccines, an attenuated version of the pathogen is inserted in the body of the patient. This can lead to side effects and it takes much more time to develop compared to mRNA vaccines. Since mRNA vaccines are quicker to develop, they can effectively adapt to mutating pathogens.
mRNA vaccines look promising but they have yet to prove themselves outside clinical trials. Moderna used 30 000 people while Pfizer used 43 000 people for their respective phase 3 trials on their Covid-19 vaccines.
Here are all the products that Moderna has in its pipeline:
There are quite a few companies working vaccines right now and Pfizer was the first one to produce one. Moderna is second but their vaccine has some advantages compared to the Pfizer vaccines. First, the Pfizer vaccine was only 90% effective while Moderna’s is 94.5% effective and the vaccine has proven to be very effective in preventing people from being infected by a severe case of Covid-19.
The second advantage that the Moderna vaccine has is about logistics. The Pfizer vaccine requires temperatures well below that of conventional freezers. The Moderna Vaccine can be stored for up to six months in a freezer, up to 30 days in a fridge and 12 hours post thaw at room temperature. Just like the Pfizer vaccine, two doses have to be administered in a 3 weeks interval.
The cost of the Moderna vaccine is about $32-$37 per dose while that of the Pfizer one is $19.50 and can be even lower.
So far, Pfizer got a 100 million doses preorder worth $2.50 billion from the US Government with the option of buying another 400 million doses. Canada and Japan ordered considerable doses too. In total, around 200 million doses have already been pre ordered with Moderna estimating 500 million to 1 billion orders to come in total in 2021.
Assuming a price of $35 per dose, Moderna could potentially increase their revenues by $17 billion to $35 billion in the coming 13 months. So far, it is hard to estimate the margins of Moderna. Since we used a margin of 15% for Pfizer, we’re going to use the same one with Moderna. However, we need to understand that Moderna may not possess all the necessary equipment to mass produce one billion doses of a vaccine in a year. They recently built a manufacturing facility but it may not be enough and they will require third party manufacturers. According to Moderna, the Covid-19 vaccine has been a 3-4 years accelerator to their business.
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