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Moderna Posts Wider-Than-Expected Loss but Jump in Revenue

Moderna posts a wider-than-expected quarterly loss but sales almost double forecasts thanks to government deals to distribute its vaccine when ready and approved.

Drugmaker Moderna  (MRNA)  reported a third-quarter loss wider than forecasts but sales that were almost double analysts' expectations as it continued to forge ahead with trials of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate and inked deals with governments to distribute the vaccine when ready and approved.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based company posted a net loss of $233.6 million, or 59 cents a share, vs. a loss of $123.2 million, or 37 cents a share, in the comparable year-earlier period. Analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting a loss of 38 cents a share. 

Sales, however, totaled $157.9 million, up from just $17 million a year ago and well above analysts' forecasts of $80.6 million. 

“We are actively preparing for the launch of (Covid-19 vaccine candidate) mRNA-1273 and we have signed a number of supply agreements with governments around the world," Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said in a statement, adding that the company's CMV, or cytomegalovirus virus vaccine, also showed positive interim Phase 2 data, with phase 3 trials expected to kick off in early 2021.

Research and development expenses were $344.5 million for the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with $119.6 million for the same period in 2019. Total operating expenses rose to $393 million from $147.8 million, Moderna said. 

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Moderna currently has 21 mRNA development candidates in its portfolio, with 13 in clinical studies. Across Moderna’s pipeline, more than 32,000 healthy volunteers and patients have been enrolled in clinical studies, including the Phase 3 study of mRNA-1273. 

Moderna earlier this year emerged as one of the front-runners in the race to create a viable coronavirus vaccine as its Food and Drug Administration fast-track-approved trials showed positive results in combatting preventing Covid-19.

For the fourth quarter, Moderna said it now expects positive net cash provided by operating activities and used for purchases of property and equipment to be between $0.1 billion and $0.3 billion, driven by customer deposits of approximately $1.2 billion received year-to-date as of September 30.

Separately, Moderna on Thursday said it has cut a deal with Takeda and the government of Japan to supply 50 million doses of its mRNA-1273 Covid-19 vaccine candidate to Japan.

Shares of Moderna were up 4.24% at $68.53 in trading on Thursday.