Moderna’s fourth-quarter profit tumbled 70% as COVID-19 vaccine sales fell and the drugmaker caught up on a royalty payment.
Moderna said Thursday that its cost of sales jumped nearly a billion dollars to $1.9 billion in the final quarter of 2022. That included a $400 million payment to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases tied to a new license agreement started in December.
Research and development expenses also nearly doubled to $1.2 billion for the drugmaker. Moderna’s pipeline of drugs under development includes a potential skin cancer vaccine it is working on with Merck.
The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday gave that potential vaccine a “breakthrough therapy” designation, which is intended to speed the development and review of drugs that show signs of being an improvement over established treatments.
Moderna expects to start a late-stage study this year.
Overall, the drugmaker’s profit fell to $1.46 billion, or $3.61 per share, in the final quarter of 2022. Total revenue dropped 29% to $5.08 billion.
Analysts expected earnings of $4.60 per share on $5.02 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.
Moderna’s Spikevax is the company’s main source of revenue, outside of grants and money from collaborations. Sales of both Moderna’s vaccine and shots made by rivals like Pfizer Inc. have slowed since 2021, when most people either were receiving their initial doses of the shots or their first boosters.
The company had said last month that it recorded $18.4 billion in sales from its COVID-19 vaccine last year. It has about $5 billion in sales of the vaccine contracted for delivery this year, and the company said Thursday it was expecting additional sales on top of that.
Shares of Moderna Inc., based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, fell 2%, or $3.45, to $154.72 before markets opened.