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Moderna, Novavax Make JPMorgan Short Pick List

Moderna and Novavax rank high in JPMorgan survey of biotech short picks.

Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Moderna Inc. Report and Novavax  (NVAX) - Get Novavax Inc. Report were falling Monday after the two vaccine makers were among the top short picks in a JPMorgan survey.

Shares of Moderna were down about 2% to $129.85, while Novavax was off nearly 5% to $176.64.

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The survey also listed Beam Therapeutics  (BEAM) - Get Beam Therapeutics Inc. Report, which is backed by Cathie Wood’s Ark Investments, and Biogen  (BIIB) - Get Biogen Inc. Report.

The vast majority of responders are healthcare or biopharma “specialists”, JPMorgan said, about 38% of the respondents believe biotech will outperform the markets in 2021. This compares with a December survey, where about 77% of the respondents thought biotech would outperform.

"Overall, investor sentiment is more balanced on biotech relative to our December survey which is not entirely surprising given some of the disappointing clinical trial results and regulatory updates YTD, coupled with the uptick in drug pricing headlines," the survey said.

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When asked what will be needed to get biotech working again in 2021, the majority of the respondents, roughly 24%, said "clinical trial wins." The second most popular answer was "M&A uptick."

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Roughly 14% of the respondents said they expected genome editing and gene therapy to dominate in 2021.

Moderna recently said it had completed the shipment of the first 100 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine to the U.S. government.

The company also said it was on track to deliver a second batch of 100 million doses by the end of May, and a third batch by the end of July.

Novavax suffered a setback late last month after a report said the drugmaker was delaying signing a contract to supply its COVID-19 vaccine to the EU due to production issues.