Pfizer and BioNTech climb as 95% vaccine effectiveness tees up application for FDA approval
- Pfizer and BioNTech jumped on Wednesday trading after final analysis of trial data showed their coronavirus vaccine was 95% effective at protecting against COVID-19.
Pfizergained 4% at intraday highs, while BioNTechclimbed as much as 8%. The news also helped drive major indexes higher.
- The companies now plan to apply for emergency-use authorization in a matter of days, setting the shot up for an early-2021 rollout.
- Watch Pfizer trade live here.
- Watch BioNTech trade live here.
The updated figure comes from final analysis of trial data. Preliminary results released on November 9 showed the drug to be 90% effective in the nearly 44,000-person trial. The newest information clears the way for Pfizer and BioNTech to apply for emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration in a matter of days.
Pfizer gained 4% at intraday highs, while BioNTech jumped as much as 8%. The news also pushed US equity indexes higher.
To be sure, there's still much about Pfizer's vaccine that isn't yet known. The company hasn't said how long the shot is effective, and it's unclear if vaccinated people can still be asymptomatic carriers of the virus.
The FDA's vaccine review process is set to take weeks, and even if the drug is approved, initial distribution will be extremely limited. Populations most vulnerable to COVID-19 will likely receive the shot first before production ramps up. Government scientists have estimated a vaccine can be widely available by the spring or summer of 2021.
The Wednesday update follows similarly positive news from Moderna on Monday. The biotech company announced its own vaccine candidate was 94.5% effective against COVID-19 in early analysis. Moderna's vaccine also only requires regular refrigeration for storage, while Pfizer's needs to be stored at -94 degrees Fahrenheit.
Trial results from AstraZeneca and Oxford University's own candidate are expected to be announced in the coming days.
Read more: A 28-year-old hedge fund co-investing chief shares how he advanced from community college to Wall Street — and broke down his two-pronged approach to managing the fund's volatility strategies
Pfizer's November 9 announcement spurred a market rally that shifted swaths of investor capital from growth giants to small-cap stocks and cyclicals. JPMorgan analysts found the vaccine news drove the largest one-day value rotation since 2008. Encouraging vaccine updates since then have driven similar, albeit less intense, risk-asset rallies.
Pfizer closed at $36.04 per share on Tuesday, down 7.4% year-to-date.
BioNTech closed at $86.93 per share, up 149% year-to-date.
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