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BofA sees broad access to Moderna Covid-19 vaccine in Q2 2021

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Monday 16 Nov 2020

BofA sees broad access to Moderna Covid-19 vaccine in Q2 2021

(Sharecast News) - Analysts at Bank of America hiked their target price for shares of US biotechnology outfit Moderna after interim clinical data from its Covid-19 vaccine trial met the high bar for efficacy, forecasting that Emergency Use Approval (EUA) might arrive before year-end 2020 and full authorisation by quarter two of 2021.
Earlier, Moderna said that preliminary data from its ongoing phase three trials showed 94.5% efficacy in blocking infections.

Of the 30,000 trial volunteers, and 95 registered cases of Covid-19, 90 had received a placebo, while only five had been administered the vaccine.

Furthermore, of the 11 severe cases of Covid-19, all had been on the placebo.

On the back of the news, BofA upped its estimated probability of the vaccine being approved from 44% before the results were announced to 95%.

Linked to the above, the investment bank raised its target price from $85 to $105.

An EUA filing was believed likely in the next few weeks, once two-month safety data and the final analysis were completed.

Nonetheless, while up until now BofA had taken the line that "no news is good news", its recent survey of a panel of physicians had "signaled" the potential for even minor adverse safety events to become the biggest barrier to widespread adoption.

EUAs for both Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech's vaccines were expected in coming weeks, potentially before year end 2020.

However, full Biologics License Approvals would require "substantially" longer follow up, including six months of safety follow up "although this could be shortened depending on perceived benefit/risk. This would put BLA filing on track for 2Q21, with full approval potentially coming shortly thereafter, in-line with our current view of broad access in mid-2021."

Despite Monday's good news from Moderna, BofA kept its recommendation for the stock at 'hold', arguing that consensus was too bullish when it came to estimates for group sales in 2021 and 2022.

BofA had penciled-in revenues of $1.9bn and $4.7bn, against consensus on $7.9bn and $8.1bn.

As of 1536 GMT, shares of Moderna were 6.04% higher to $94.87.

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