Shares of Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) rose 4.9% to a record closing high of $246.66 on Wednesday, as health officials warned of the potential for another wave of COVID-19 infections later this year.
New coronavirus strains, such as the Delta variant, are spreading rapidly in the U.S. and other parts of the world. They’re driving a rebound in COVID-19 case counts in many areas, which is fueling calls for governments to step up their vaccination efforts.
Fortunately, Moderna’s vaccine helps to protect against several coronavirus mutations, including the Delta variant, though at levels below that of the original strain. To bolster their ability to defend against emerging variants, Moderna and rival drugmaker Pfizer are working on booster shots that could help to ramp up people’s abilities to combat the virus.
If COVID-19 booster vaccines turn out to be needed on a regular basis, say annually or even semiannually, they could become a significant source of recurring revenue for Moderna. Additionally, the biotech’s coronavirus-related revenue will help fuel its highly regarded research and development program.
Moderna has a well-stocked pipeline of experiential vaccines and treatments for an array of diseases, and CEO Stéphane Bancel believes it could have as many as 60 drugs in clinical trials within a few years. If just a few of these drug programs succeed, investors could be in store for even larger gains in the years ahead.
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