Market Commentary

Moderna Stock Tumbles As RSV Vaccine Faces Efficiency Concerns

Aisha Khan
14 Feb 2024 · 2 minutes read

While Pharma stocks have been faring well year-to-date, one stock was hit by a bearish report from Wall Street Analysts. On Feb 9, Moderna Inc (MRNA:US) stock saw a decline of almost 7% in a single session. The fall comes after analysts suggested that the company's RSV vaccine may not be long-lasting in its efficacy when compared to shots produced by Moderna's competitors.

RSV, a prevalent respiratory virus, can lead to mild to severe symptoms, posing higher risks for infants and older adults. In 2022, there was heightened attention on RSV alongside COVID-19 and flu during the respiratory illness season. Moderna announced research into an mRNA-based RSV vaccine on Feb 7, aiming to mitigate severe consequences and enhance the handling of respiratory virus outbreaks.

Information revealed before an RSV conference indicated that the effectiveness of Moderna's vaccine dropped to approximately 63% after 8.6 months, down from 84% at 3.3 months. GSK plc (GSK:US)'s vaccine efficacy decreased to 77% at 14 months from 83%, while Pfizer Inc (PFE:US)'s decreased from 89% to 79% in the mid-season two.

Moderna advised against directly comparing its vaccine with competitors due to variations in trial approaches. Nevertheless, analysts emphasized the competitive standing of Moderna's vaccine, potentially affecting MRNA stock outlook negatively. This is significant given the importance of the RSV vaccine for revenue growth as demand for COVID-19 vaccines wanes.

On the Congressional trading side, Rep. Ro Khanna reported purchases of MRNA stock made under his spouse's and child’s names. Amounting to a maximum of $30,000, these trades took place on Jan 10, 2024 and Nov 03, 2023 respectively. Khanna sits on the House Oversight Committee. Additionally, Rep. Josh Gottheimer sold MRNA on Sept 15, 2023, from a joint account. On the competitor's side, PFE saw significant selling from Lawmakers earlier this year.

While the S&P 500 Pharmaceuticals Industry Index has surged by 8.25% YTD, MRNA stock is seeing a steep 24.12% decline YTD.