Is star coronavirus stock Moderna (MRNA 2.74%) beginning a new phase of its late-pandemic life?
This might have been a concern of investors after the company announced Wednesday morning that David Meline, who has served as CFO since nearly the start of the pandemic, is stepping down from the company. After all, Meline guided Moderna to a series of impressive quarterly beats on the back of the successful coronavirus vaccine the company developed and brought to market. On Wednesday, Moderna's share price fell by almost 6%.
Meline's departure becomes effective on Tuesday, Sept. 6. At that time, he will be replaced by James Mock, who will also serve on the high-profile biotech's executive committee.
Mock certainly has the depth and experience for his new position. Prior to his hiring, he was CFO and senior vice president at healthcare company PerkinElmer starting from May 2018. Earlier in his career, he worked a 20-year stint at General Electric; at the sprawling industrial company, he served in a variety of divisions, typically as CFO or in other financial executive posts.
In the press release detailing the transition, Moderna quoted CEO Stéphane Bancel as saying that Mock is joining the company when it "is at an exciting stage with a growing mRNA platform, including four Phase 3 trials occurring this year and upcoming proof-of-concept data in rare diseases and immuno-oncology, significant commercial momentum and a strong financial position."
Yet that might be why investors were bearish on Moderna following the announcement. That coronavirus vaccine, Spikevax, remains the company's only commercialized product. While the mRNA technology that underlies Spikevax has enormous potential, Moderna still has to prove it can harness this to develop other successful vaccines and drugs.