Shares of the large-cap biotech Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) rose by as much as 10.9% in premarket trading Monday morning. The biotech's stock appears to be rocketing higher today in response to a Sunday BBC interview with the company's chief medical officer, Dr. Paul Burton.
During the interview, Burton noted that Moderna was already hard at work evaluating a higher-dose booster shot for the highly mutated omicron variant. He also said that an entirely new vaccine tailor-made for this variant of concern, if warranted, could be ready as soon as early 2022.
The long and short of it is that the omicron variant will almost certainly ramp up demand for the company's messenger RNA (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccine. In fact, a brand new omicron-specific vaccine would likely generate billions in sales for the company in 2022 and beyond.
That's definitely a positive for Moderna and its shareholders. Before this latest variant made an unwelcome appearance, after all, the biotech's top-line growth appeared to be headed in the wrong direction, thanks to weakening demand in key geographies, supply chain issues, and stiff competition from Pfizer and BioNTech's rival mRNA vaccine.
Is Moderna's stock still worth buying? The answer is most definitely yes. Moderna's shares appear poised to retest their 52-week high following the emergence of the omicron variant. Put simply, this biotech stock probably won't cool off anytime soon.