Moderna expects private market sales of new crown vaccines to reach $4 billion in 2023

By Leroy Leo and Patrick Wingrove

Aug 3 (Reuters) – Moderna Inc forecast on Thursday that its COVID-19 vaccine could bring in as much as $4 billion in revenue this year when sales shift from government contracts to the private market, and said it expected demand to continue growing in 2024 and catch up with the flu vaccine market.

The lab expects to sell $4 billion to the government this year and $200 to $4 billion to the private market in the U.S. and other countries. The company had expected government contract sales to reach $5 billion.

The government market for a new crown vaccine is shrinking, as Moderna and its rivals Pfizer (NYSE: PFE ) reported a sharp decline in vaccine sales in the second quarter.

The two companies now expect to launch a vaccination campaign in the fall with the latest vaccine against the XBB.1.5 omicron subvariant of the coronavirus at a price well above what it charges the government. U.S. health authorities say that the number of new crown cases and hospitalizations has begun to rise again.

Moderna said it expects U.S. demand for the vaccine to reach 50 million to 100 million doses in the fall, and said the forecast was based on the size of the flu market, which Moderna estimates at 150 million doses a year in the U.S.

“Over time, given the high burden of the disease and the combination we’re considering going forward (syncytial virus and influenza vaccine), our Vaccinations will start to approach 150 million.”

Moderna and Pfizer have not yet announced the final price of their vaccines on the private market, but said they expect it to be well above what they were charged to governments at the height of the pandemic. Moderna told Reuters in March that it expected the drug to be priced at about $130 in the U.S., compared with $25-$37 per dose when it launches in late 2020.

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Moderna reported a net loss of $3.62 per share, missing analysts’ average estimate for a loss of $4.04.

(Editing in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)

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