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Moderna (MRNA) stock price fell yesterday. This happened as both Merck and Novavax are set to go into COVID-19 vaccine trials.
Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) stock prices fell by 16.36% during the last trading session. This occurred as two different announcements were made on vaccine trials. The first came from Novavax Inc (NASDAQ: NVAX) while the other came from Merck & Co Inc (NYSE: MRK). Sources say that the introduction of these two attempts has sent a signal to the markets that Moderna (MRNA) stock prices could be overvalued.
Investors had put much confidence in the loss-making startup. The company’s fortunes turned for the better as it announced earlier in the year that it had a candidate for COVID-19 vaccine trials.
As yesterday Moderna (MRNA) stock price fell, the stock touched $57.71. However, in the pre-market now, MRNA is 1.37% up at $58.50.
Moderna (MRNA) Stock Price Down as Other Companies Are Going into Vaccine Trials
Moderna seems to be ahead of the game for now. But Novavax and Merck both have proven track records of producing working vaccines. Founded in 1987, Novavax (NVAX) is best known for its success in the usage of its Matrix-M Adjuvant in Vaccines. Yesterday it announced the beginning of human trials in Australia. The trials are for its vaccine candidate NVX-CoV 2373.
Merck (MRK) on the other hand has been well known. For more than a century, the medical company has been at the forefront of providing solutions, vaccines, and other forms of treatment. Recently, it has announced a new partnership with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
Merck said that it will be using recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus technology. The rVSV technology was a success in 2014 in the case of the development of the Zaire Ebola vaccine.
Both companies could overtake Moderna at any time in terms of development. Merck specifically has all that it takes to manufacture and develop as many vaccine doses as possible. Their medical logistics capability is second to none globally.
Merck also has a history of foregoing profit in place of the greater good. They have an unmatched history when it comes to medical corporate social responsibility.
There Are New Challenges Ahead
Moderna may have more than one battle to fight at the movement. Sources say that its executives sold about $29 million in profits. This happened barely 48 hours after its announcement on successful vaccine trials.
The activity had been planned ahead of time. Critics however had queried the timing of Moderna’s announcement. They cited certain ethical issues having to do with stock market manipulations based on access to internal information.
This could become a headache down the line for the management. It is struggling to focus on getting its second phase of trials.
Automated stock sale arrangements occur from time to time for publicly listed companies. This is the norm. What could be of interest to the regulators would be the thing of the announcement. Moderna (MRNA) had complete control over the announcement. The management chose to allow both activities to occur within similar time frames.
Sources say that four management executives were beneficiaries of the stock sale. Among them is Chief Financial Officer Lorence Kim. Kim will be leaving Moderna (MRNA) in August.
Other critics think that stock sales during tenure by management executives are unethical. Whichever way this turns, Moderna (MRNA) stock price may be seeking a form of support. The price will dip some more before things even out.
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