By Patrick Wingrove
Moderna on Wednesday said its flu vaccine had generated a stronger immune response against all four A and B strains of the influenza virus compared to traditional flu shots in a late-stage trial.
The effectiveness of Moderna's flu vaccine was demonstrated across all age groups, including older people, and was found to be safe and tolerable, according to the company.
Moderna also said it had found that its shot was equal or superior to Sanofi's high-dose flu vaccine in a separate early head-to-head study.
Moderna could use this data to file for accelerated approval of its flu shot in the United States by year-end, and likely launch the vaccine by the 2024/2025 season, Jefferies analyst Michael Yee said in a note.
The company had previously said that there was not enough available data to determine whether the flu vaccine would succeed after it failed to meet the "early-success" criteria in the study.
Moderna also announced that it was scaling down manufacturing of its Covid-19 vaccine, an updated version of which was approved this week by US regulators, to align with lower post-pandemic demand and help the company sooner hit its target of 75%-80% gross margin growth.
"We probably overproduced a little bit too much this year, which is why we have excessive unutilized capacity and excessive materials, and that will come down," Moderna CFO Jamey Mock said during the investor day conference.
Moderna said it could launch up to 15 products over the next five years, as it moves focus away from its Covid vaccine.