Moderna Posts Q3 Loss, Takes $1.3B in Write-Downs on COVID-19 Shots

Pictured: Moderna headquarters in Massachusetts/iStock, hapabapa

Pictured: Moderna headquarters in Massachusetts/iStock, hapabapa

While Moderna’s total revenue for the third quarter beat Wall Street expectations, the vaccine maker on Thursday posted a loss as demand for its COVID-19 shots declined.

Moderna announced that overall sales for the third quarter were $1.8 billion, down from $3.4 billion in the same period of 2022. Net product sales for Moderna were also down 44% from last year due to a “lower sales volume” but partially offset by a higher average selling price the company unveiled.

In the third quarter, Moderna said it saw charges of $1.3 billion for “inventory writedowns,” which were related to “excess and obsolete COVID-19 products.”

Investors were not pleased as Moderna’s stock price fell over 15% pre-market on Thursday.

“Through this quarter, we demonstrated our ability to increase share in the U.S. market, and we now expect this year’s vaccination rate to be similar to last fall,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a statement.

Sales slumps from COVID have impacted other companies during the third-quarter earnings seasons, including Pfizer which posted a 42% sales drop in Q3 and its first quarterly loss since 2019. 

However, Moderna is looking to right the ship with its RSV vaccine, mRNA-1345, submitted for market authorization in the summer. In its third-quarter report, the company said that it is “encouraged” by the awareness and demand for the vaccine and will focus on public health engagements and scientific exchanges for the vaccine.

Still, Moderna will face competition as GSK and Pfizer both have secured approvals for its respective RSV vaccines earlier this year. 

Moderna also reduced its manufacturing footprint this quarter, as it announced in September 2023 it would scale down the production of mRNA drug substance for the COVID vaccine at Lonza’s production site in Visp, Switzerland. The company contends that its manufacturing resizing will increase sales in the long run. 

“In the third quarter, we significantly resized our manufacturing infrastructure to make our COVID-19 franchise profitable for 2024 and beyond. We are preparing to launch multiple products through 2025, including our RSV vaccine,” Bancel said. 

Moderna is expecting to net around $4 billion in 2024 sales of vaccines helped by the launch of its RSV vaccine. It expects to be back at “organic growth” by 2025. The company also projects capital expenditures to be lower in 2025 once its manufacturing facilities in Australia, the U.K., and Canada finish construction. 

Tyler Patchen is a staff writer at BioSpace. You can reach him at Follow him on LinkedIn.

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