AstraZeneca reportedly cashes in US$1.2bn after selling Moderna, Inc. stake

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AstraZeneca plc (LON:AZN) has reportedly cashed in US$1.2bn after selling its 7.7% stake in COVID-19 vaccine maker Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA).

The FTSE 100 pharma giant will use the proceeds to shore up its balance sheet as it is about to complete the US$39bn acquisition of US rare diseases specialist Alexion, its biggest yet, The Times reported.

READ: Pfizer vaccine proves highly effective in real-world study, Moderna eyes 2,000% rise in revenue

Shares in Moderna have rocketed 418% to US$154.81 since a year ago after it successfully developed a COVID-19 jab, currently rolled out in several countries worldwide.

The biotech, valued at US$61bn, expects to make US$18.4bn (£13bn) in revenue this year as the vaccine is being sold for a profit, unlike rival AstraZeneca’s.

In 2020, total revenue rocketed 93% to US$803mln, mostly due to grants by the US government to speed up the development of the jab.

Shares in AstraZeneca rose 1% to 6,986p on Monday afternoon.

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