Moderna a catalyst driven idea at Morgan Stanley

Moderna a catalyst driven idea at Morgan Stanley
© Reuters Moderna (MRNA) a catalyst driven idea at Morgan Stanley

By Sam Boughedda

Morgan Stanley analysts labeled Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) a Catalyst Driven Idea in a note Friday, maintaining an Equal-Weight rating and $209 price target on the stock.

The analysts told investors the firm expects Moderna’s first interim analysis from its Ph3 RSV vaccine study in the near term.

“We believe efficacy and safety in-between Pfizer/GSK is the most likely outcome for Moderna. We see MRNA up 5%+ in that outcome,” the analysts declared.

“RSV could represent a $7-10B adult market,” they added. “Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is one of the leading causes of lower respiratory tract diseases in infants and elderly. In older adults (≥ 65 y/o), there are ~177K hospitalizations with a potential vaccine market size of $7-10B.”

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and GSK (NYSE:GSK) have already released their Ph3 RSV vaccine data in older adults said the analysts. They said, “durability and combo with other respiratory vaccines could be commercial differentiators.”

“We see durability and combo potential as key attributes. On durability, Pfizer’s and GSK’s both achieved elevated antibody titers after one year, and we expect the follow-up analysis expected in 1H23 to better define their profile. Pfizer has indicated that it expects durability of ~1-2 years,” they added. “On combo with other respiratory vaccines, both Pfizer and GSK are studying concomitant flu vaccine injections with RSV vaccine, and GSK has demonstrated non-inferior immunogenicity of co-administration vs. separate injections. Moderna is also working on COVID/flu/RSV and flu/RSV combo vaccines.”