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Moderna Contests Shareholder Resolution Tied to Vaccine-Sharing Plan

Moderna is contesting a shareholder proposal for sharing its Covid vaccine technology with poor countries and lowering prices.
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Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Moderna, Inc. Report shares fell on Monday after reports said the biopharmaceutical company is contesting a shareholder proposal for sharing its Covid vaccine technology with poor countries and lowering prices there.

The proposal came from U.K. money manager Legal & General.

It wants Moderna to tell holders “whether and how Moderna’s receipt of government financial support for development and manufacture of a vaccine for Covid-19 is being, or will be, taken into account when making decisions that affect access to such products, such as setting prices,” Barron’s reports.

Moderna said last week that its Covid vaccine booster shots induced a jump in antibodies that can fight the Covid omicron variant.

The company said its mRNA-1273 vaccine can offer a "first line of defense" against the rapidly accelerating variant, which the World Health Organization has identified in 90 countries.

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Moderna stated that a 50-microgram booster given to those with two prior shots increased neutralizing antibodies against omicron by 37 times, while a 100-microgram dose induced a reaction that was 80 times greater.

The drugmaker also said it would continue to develop an omicron-specific vaccine, with clinical trials expected in early 2022.

Morningstar analyst Karen Andersen puts fair value for the stock at $159. She called the company’s third-quarter results “disappointing.”

She noted that Moderna sold 208 million Covid-19 vaccine doses in the third quarter for $4.8 billion, “lower than our $7 billion estimate for the quarter, due to a combination of dose release bottlenecks, greater complexity of distribution to more global markets, and lower average global pricing (as more vaccine is delivered to less-developed countries).”

Moderna shares recently traded at $247.59, down 1%. The stock is trading at about half its 52-week high above $497, set in early August.