Moderna announced this Wednesday (13) that it is reducing production of its vaccine against Covid-19, the updated version of which was approved this week by United States regulators. The company wants to align with lower post-pandemic demand and, with the decision, can also achieve its target of gross margin growth of 75% to 80% sooner.
Moderna is in talks with its messenger RNA-based Covid vaccine partners around the world to scale down production, Stephen Hoge, president of the Massachusetts-based company, said in an interview.
The reduction, Hoge added, will help Moderna adjust to the endemic phase of the disease, which has led to falling demand for Covid-19 vaccines.
Moderna predicted in August that U.S. demand for the vaccine would reach 50 million to 100 million doses by the fall season. About 153.8 million Covid vaccines were administered in the United States in 2022, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“For the last two years, we’ve been in pandemic mode, producing a billion doses a year,” Hoge said. “We waited for the moment when the pandemic was officially over and we needed to restructure the production area.”
After authorization from the FDA (the agency that regulates and inspects food and medicine in the USA) last Monday (11), Moderna said it would begin sending doses of the Covid vaccine across the United States.
The company has agreements to supply its Covid vaccine to other countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada and Japan, but does not yet have a deal with the European Union, according to Hoge, who also said that Covid was the focus of the agreement. Moderna manufacturing with China.
Hoge said that while Moderna is working urgently on reducing Covid production, negotiations with third-party manufacturers — which will help produce the upcoming respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza vaccines that investors hope will begin to replace declining revenue of Moderna with Covid—could extend until next year.
“These are relationships we will need for decades to come,” Hoge said.
Moderna declined to identify the partners, but has previously said they include Thermo Fisher, Sanofi and Catalent.