What happened

Shares of Moderna (MRNA 0.69%) popped 18% last week, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. Investors were encouraged by news of several potential catalysts that could boost the pharmaceutical company's sales and profits.

So what 

Moderna came into the week with some positive momentum after fellow drugmaker Pfizer (PFE 0.29%) announced plans to raise the price of its COVID-19 vaccine next year to as much as $130 per shot. That would be a more than fourfold increase from the $30.50 per dose it currently receives from the U.S. government. 

The news helped investors better gauge the potential size of the commercial market for the vaccine. The industry is expected to shift from the current government-funded model to a more traditional health-insurance and patient-funded market in 2023. 

Pfizer's proposed prices were much higher than Wall Street projected. So analysts raised their estimates for what Moderna could charge for its vaccine and adjusted their revenue forecasts accordingly. 

Now what

In addition to its coronavirus vaccines and booster shots, Moderna has a promising pipeline of drug candidates targeting an array of diseases. On Tuesday, Morgan Stanley analyst Matthew Harrison provided an encouraging view of Moderna's upcoming analysis of a phase 2 study for its personalized cancer vaccine as an adjuvant treatment for patients with high-risk melanoma. Harrison believes Merck's (MRK 0.59%) recent decision to exercise its option to jointly develop and commercialize the drug suggests the results will be positive.

And on Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that Moderna was close to striking a deal with the U.S. Department of Defense to develop mRNA vaccines for Ebola and other biological threats. The partnership is reportedly part of the government's plans to combat current and future infectious disease outbreaks.

If these reports prove accurate, the positive clinical trial results and intriguing new research and development partnership would likely drive Moderna's share price even higher in the days and weeks ahead.