Moderna Inc (MRNA - Free Report) incurred loss of 35 cents per share in the first quarter of 2020, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 37 cents and the year-ago loss of 40 cents.
Revenues in the quarter were $8.4 million, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $18.17 million. In the year-ago quarter, revenues were $16 million.
Shares of Moderna have surged 172% so far this year compared with the industry’s 3.8% rise.
Quarter in Details
Collaboration revenues were $4.5 million, down 68.4% year over year. Grant revenues almost doubled year over year to $3.8 million.
General and administrative expenses were down 11.5% to $24.1 million. Research & development expenses decreased 11.7% to $115.1 million due to a decline in clinical study costs and material costs.
The company ended the quarter with $1.7 billion in cash and cash equivalents, compared with $1.26 billion as of Dec 31, 2019. The company has up to $700 million available in grants and awards.
Moderna has 23 mRNA investigational candidates with 13 candidates in clinical development stage. Its most advanced mRNA pipeline candidates include mRNA-1647, mRNA-4157 and AZD8601.
While mRNA-1647 and mRNA-4157 are being evaluated as vaccines for Cytomegalovirus and cancer, respectively, AZD8601 is a candidate for myocardial ischemia. These candidates are in mid-stage development.
Currently, the company is focused on developing its mRNA-based vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, for COVID-19. On its earnings call, the company stated that the FDA has reviewed its investigational new drug application for initiating a phase II study on mRNA-1273 and allowed the same. The company plans to start the study soon.
Moreover, the company is finalizing the design for a phase III study on mRNA-1273 and anticipates to initiate the study in early summer or the third quarter. Previously, it intended to start the study in fall or in the fourth quarter. The company signed a strategic collaboration agreement with Lonza for manufacturing of mRNA-1273 earlier this month.
However, Moderna’s focus on developing its coronavirus vaccine has hampered the development of certain other pipeline candidates. The company has paused enrollment and new site initiation for two early-stage studies evaluating mRNA-3704 and mRNA-3927 in methylmalonic acidemia and propionic acidemia, respectively. It also announced discontinuation of development of mRNA-3630 in Fabry disease.
Moderna’s mRNA technology has helped it to enter into several collaborations with large pharma/biotech companies namely Merck (MRK - Free Report) , AstraZeneca (AZN - Free Report) and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX - Free Report) .
In March, Vertex extended its collaboration with the company through August 2021 to develop mRNA therapeutics for the treatment of cystic fibrosis, based on promising preclinical work so far.
Moderna currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
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