Moderna, a relatively young company, achieved a remarkable feat, largely attributed to the boldness of its co-founder and Chairman, Noubar Afeyan, and the decisive leadership of CEO Stéphane Bancel. However, the question arises: can they replicate this success?
The windfall from Covid was invested in new R&D programs focused on messenger RNA technology. Collaborating with Merck, Moderna is developing a melanoma vaccine, showing promising initial trial results. Despite some competitors facing challenges in mRNA technology trials, Moderna continues its aggressive approach, targeting respiratory diseases and chronic conditions like Lyme and herpes.
Moderna plans to launch about fifteen treatments in the next five years, aiming for sales between $15 and $30 billion during that period. Approximately half of this target relies on Covid-related treatments, assuming the continued prevalence of the virus.
This ambitious strategy has yet to convince investors, especially considering Moderna's recent financial performance. The company reported a $2 billion loss in the last three months, and operational losses of $6 to $8 billion are anticipated this year due to declining Covid vaccine sales and rising R&D expenses.
Management aims to achieve profitability by 2026, leveraging at least $4 billion in Covid-related revenues next year. Despite this optimism, shareholders have observed significant share buybacks, while the company's leaders, including Noubar Afeyan, Stéphane Bancel, and Stephen Hoge, have been selling their shares, both owned and obtained through stock options.