Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Where Will Moderna Be in 10 Years?

By Adria Cimino – Nov 16, 2021 at 6:00AM

Key Points

  • Today, Moderna relies on its coronavirus vaccine for billions of dollars in revenue and profit.
  • The company has more than a dozen candidates outside of the coronavirus program that are in phase 1 studies or farther along.
  • Some of these candidates might reach commercialization a decade from now -- or earlier.

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The blockbusters may multiply.

Moderna (MRNA -2.66%) has accomplished a lot in only about 18 months. The biotech company has brought its first product to market -- and that product is the blockbuster coronavirus vaccine. So Moderna went from zero product revenue to billions in revenue and profit in a very short period of time. The company also saw its market value climb to as much as $195 billion from $6 billion.

After such a whirlwind of activity, you may now be wondering what's ahead for the company down the road. Some investors worry that Moderna's big moment may have been vaccinating the masses during the pandemic -- and business may go downhill from there. But Moderna has been working for years to ensure it won't be a one-hit wonder in the world of biotech. Let's take a look at where Moderna may be a decade from now.

Two investors study something on a laptop in an office setting.

Image source: Getty Images.

A booster market

First, a look at Moderna's coronavirus program. Experts say the coronavirus will stick around. So at least the most vulnerable will need protection well into the future. Moderna said in its recent earnings call that the future market will be a booster market. We could imagine people getting annual COVID-19 boosters -- much like an annual flu shot. Moderna is also working on a combined coronavirus/flu/allergy jab. That could increase the number of people who go for annual vaccination.

Right now, it's too early to say how much revenue Moderna may generate from coronavirus vaccines or boosters in the future. That's because we don't know the eventual price of the product -- or whether countries will continue ordering enough doses for the entire population. But it's reasonable to assume a coronavirus shot will be part of Moderna's revenue picture in 10 years. And, importantly, blockbuster vaccine sales today are building up a massive level of cash for Moderna -- about $15.3 billion so far.

Now, on to the rest. Typically, the drug development process from phase 1 through commercialization takes about seven to 10 years. Today, outside of coronavirus candidates, Moderna has about a dozen programs that are in phase 1 or farther along in the development pipeline.

This doesn't mean Moderna will have a dozen products on the market in 10 years. Anything can happen at any stage of clinical trials. And some candidates may fail. But with this many in the pipeline, it's fair to say Moderna may have at least a few products on the market a decade from now -- and some may be blockbusters.

Another blockbuster

The next potential Moderna product to launch may quickly become a blockbuster. It's Moderna's investigational cytomegalovirus (CMV) vaccine. The company recently launched a phase 3 trial. Clearly, if all goes smoothly, a CMV vaccine could be generating billions for Moderna 10 years from now. The company predicts peak annual sales in the range of $2 billion to $5 billion. CMV is a common virus that's particularly dangerous for unborn babies and people with weakened immune systems. Today, a vaccine doesn't exist. So, the opportunity is big.

Another potential blockbuster that could reach commercialization in a decade is Moderna's HIV vaccine candidate. The company aims to launch a phase 1 trial this year. So far, other companies have racked up failures in this area. If Moderna succeeds, this could be another game-changing product.

Moderna could also bring to market a personalized cancer vaccine and a respiratory syncytial virus vaccine in our 10-year timeframe. Those candidates are in phase 2 and phase 1, respectively.

Market value

Now, let's look at market value and share price. As I mentioned earlier, Moderna's market cap has soared in a short period of time. That was on optimism about the coronavirus vaccine. I wouldn't expect that sort of quick gain again. But over time, I could see Moderna's shares doubling or even tripling from their current level -- and market value climbing to the levels of big pharma rivals.

All of this means the coronavirus pandemic may not be Moderna's only big moment. The coronavirus vaccine program proved that Moderna's mRNA technology works. It's the same technology used in its other pipeline candidates. So, there's reason to be optimistic that at least a few will be successful. And it's very likely a coronavirus vaccine or booster will remain part of the long-term revenue picture. So, the future looks bright for this vaccine giant -- and its investors.

Adria Cimino has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Moderna Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.