April 17, 2021

AstraZeneca earned more than $1 billion after selling its stake in Moderna

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London-listed COVID-19 vaccine producer AstraZeneca sold its stake in US biotech Moderna last year for around $1 billion, Reuters reported, citing The Times.

AstraZeneca did not disclose the exact sum they received for selling their 7.7% stake in Moderna but said in their annual report that a “large proportion” of the $1.38 billion equity portfolio sales they recorded last year was from the sale.

Moderna shares were first released to the public in 2018 but AstraZeneca has been involved since 2013, paying $240 million upfront and then progressively increasing its stake.

Like the Pfizer vaccine, Moderna uses mRNA technology and was approved by the FDA in December.

However, the AstraZeneca vaccine has still not been approved as the FDA waits for the company to submit its paperwork.

Although Moderna said it expects to earn $18.4 billion in vaccine sales this year, AstraZeneca’s supplies are being sold on a not-for-profit basis.

Pfizer had initially estimated it would make about $2 million from its vaccine but has since raised its estimates to $15 billion, according to Bloomberg.

In a press release last week, Moderna announced that it expects to be able to produce 700 million doses by 2021 as it seeks to ramp up production to 1 billion doses.

The company is also developing three different vaccine booster methods to protect against new variants.

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca is developing a “next generation” vaccine for the same purpose, according to its executive vice-president.