Moderna (MRNA -4.94%) had some good news to deliver Wednesday, but this was overshadowed by the latest developments with the coronavirus. As a result, the high-profile biotech's share price took it on the chin during the trading session, ultimately closing down by over 2%.
That good news was that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) turned on yet another green light for Moderna. The regulator granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for a bivalent version of the company's popular Spikevax coronavirus vaccine that targets not only its original iteration but also the omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants. The FDA also authorized a similar shot developed by Pfizer and partner BioNTech.
But this occurred in an environment of decline. The rates of new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the U.S. have been falling consistently of late, and other jurisdictions are experiencing the same dynamic.
Reinforcing this, at a media briefing earlier on Wednesday, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu said that nearly everywhere in the world, the coronavirus was witnessing a "welcome decline." That said, he warned that the coming winter season and the potential emergence of variants more threatening than omicron could lead to a reversal of that trend.
In contrast to Pfizer, which has a great many fingers in an array of pies, Moderna is still a one-product company -- Spikevax is its only approved/authorized good. Although the vaccine has been wildly successful throughout the world, its maker is still heavily dependent on it. If the coronavirus keeps withering away as we all hope, you can bet investors in the biotech will cast an anxious eye on its development pipeline.