London-listed AstraZeneca did not specify how much it sold the stake for but said that “a large proportion” of the $ 1.38 billion it recorded in stock portfolio sales last year came from the sale of Moderna.
However, Moderna, whose coronavirus vaccine was released for emergency use in the U.S. in December, said last week that it expected $ 18.4 billion in sales of the vaccine this year, putting it on the road to its first profit since its founding in 2010.
AstraZeneca initially invested in Moderna in 2013, paying it $ 240 million in advance and subsequently increasing its stake by betting on newer technologies to offset losses from patent expiration.
Moreover, The shares of Texas-based Moderna, listed in 2018, increased more than fivefold in value last year after starting development on its COVID-19 vaccine and receiving its first approval within a few months.
Moderna’s injection uses a new technology called mRNA, which relies on synthetic genes to send a message to the body’s immune system to build immunity and also can be produced at scale faster than conventional vaccines like AstraZeneca.
However, The AstraZeneca vaccine based in Cambridge, England, developed with the University of Oxford, uses a weakened version of a common chimpanzee cold virus to provide proteins that increase immunity to the body.