Moderna, after monumental commercial debut, forecasts $22B in COVID shot sales this year

With about $18 billion in sales in the books from last year’s wildly successful COVID-19 vaccine rollout, Moderna has telegraphed a Spikevax encore in 2022.

This year, Moderna expects revenue from its mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine to clock in at around $22 billion. The company has already locked up advanced purchase agreements worth $19 billion, and its signed options are valued at about $3 billion, the company said Thursday. Meanwhile, the biotech is engaged in talks for additional orders in the fall of 2022 and 2023.

So how does that forecast compare to 2021? In the year of the global COVID-19 vaccination push, Moderna sold 807 million doses of its two-dose mRNA shot for full-year product sales of $17.7 billion. Total revenue for the year came in at $18.5 billion, marking a monumental increase over the $803 million Moderna made in 2020.

Moderna has a slate of experimental mRNA vaccines in the hopper, but, for now, Spikevax is the biotech’s only marketed product. As analysts struggle to predict the pandemic’s trajectory, the next major catalysts for Moderna will be the company’s phase 2 flu vaccine data plus “COVID waves and fluidity,” Jefferies analyst Michael Yee wrote in a note to clients Thursday.

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On the pandemic front, Moderna Thursday unveiled a new bivalent booster candidate, dubbed mRNA-1273.214, which combines an omicron-specific booster candidate with Moderna’s standard COVID short formulation.

The effort adds on to ongoing boosting testing of the company's standard vaccine, plus trials of the company's proposed omicron booster, Yee pointed out.

“It remains unclear which will be the chosen product delivered in 2022 as the pandemic evolves into endemic w/ various strains,” he added.

Meanwhile, Moderna already has some clarity on its shot’s performance in 2023. The company has received “firm orders” for next year from the U.K., Canada, Taiwan and Kuwait. “The company is currently in active discussions for additional orders in 2023,” Moderna added.

For the last three months of 2021, Moderna generated revenues of $7.2 billion. That figure came in ahead of the $6.78 billion Wall Street expected for the quarter, as noted by CNBC.

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Elsewhere, Moderna’s board gave the OK to a new $3 billion share repurchase program. The previous $1 billion program unveiled in August 2021 “has been fully utilized as of the end of January 2022,” the company said.

Moderna’s chief mRNA rival, Pfizer, for its part, snared nearly $37 billion in sales of its BioNTech-partnered COVID-19 vaccine last year. Looking ahead, the company expects $54 billion in total sales from the Comirnaty vaccine and its new antiviral pill Paxlovid in 2022. Pfizer figures about $32 billion of that haul will come from sales of its shot.