Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer (NYSE: PFE
) got off to a good start in Q3 with a 5% gap up to start Wednesday’s session. Shares were popular on Wall Street after positive results from a coronavirus vaccine trial
were released. It’s still early days, with only 45 patients taking part, but still, Pfizer investors will take any kind of news these days and focus on the positive side of it.
The big headline-grabber from the results was the fact that all patients who received either the 10 or 30 microgram doses, (interestingly not the other 100mg dose) in a 28 day period developed virus-neutralizing antibodies. The level of antibodies present was upwards of three times as high as those typically present in patients who have recovered from coronavirus.
Pfizer’s head of vaccine R&D, Kathrin Jansen, said with the press release, “we are encouraged by the clinical data of BNT162b1, one of four mRNA constructs we are evaluating clinically, and for which we have positive, preliminary, topline findings. We are dedicated to developing potentially groundbreaking vaccines and medicines, and in the face of this global health crisis, we approach this goal with the utmost urgency.”
Aside from reports of fever among some patients who received the 100mg dose, there were few reported side effects and certainly nothing to be worried about at this early stage. Pfizer has been collaborating with a German drugmaker BioNTech on the trial and vaccine and theirs is only one of close to 200 vaccines in the works.
Plenty of Competition
In recent months there have been ups and downs from the various trials in play and investors haven’t been slow about backing any public company that has some kind of connection to a potentially successful treatment. Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) raised a few eyebrows in May after indication positive results would be forthcoming. While there was some skepticism leveled at the company in the days afterward, considering they announced an offering after capping off a 350% rally in just 3 months, investors have hung around.
Moderna’s vaccine is expected to begin a late-stage trial later this month just as Pfizer’s starts its mid-stage trial. If everything works out, they expect to have 100 million doses ready for the public by the end of 2020 and more than 1 billion by the end of next year.
Inovio (NASDAQ: INO) and AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) are among other big names currently running vaccine trials on humans. The former’s stock jumped 200% in just two weeks last month as hype about its potential turned into reality when they released promising early-stage results. At 60 times its size by market cap, Pfizer shares will struggle to move so much that fast, but they’ll take what they can get, even if it’s just a 5% pop.
Coming into Wednesday’s session, shares were down 15% from their post-COVID highs which they hit in April. An impressive 40% rally off the lows of March had been petering out and investors will be hoping Wednesday’s news helps spark some life in the shares. Given shares retraced from the open to finish up just over 3% on the day, patience will be starting to wear thin.
Its Q1 revenue, reported at the end of April, contracted more than 8% year on year. While allowances will be made for a bad quarter on the basis of the coronavirus pandemic, many will expect a pharmaceutical giant, whose raison d’etre is to develop and sell treatments for things like viruses, to capitalize on such a situation.
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6 Stocks to Help You Profit Off the Coronavirus PPE Boom
Every major global event brings with it changes to our national lexicon. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, few Americans knew what the initials PPE stood for. Today, virtually anyone knows that PPE stands for personal protective equipment.
At the onset of the mitigation policies, the goal of flattening the curve was being done to prevent our health care system from becoming overwhelmed. Part of that concern stemmed from a shortage of personal protective equipment. These are the masks, gloves, goggles and gowns that help protect medical workers against viral or bacterial infections.
As the novel coronavirus became labeled a global pandemic, the global mantra became to “flatten the curve” in an effort to prevent our healthcare system from being overwhelmed.
The United States is being referred to as being on a war time footing. Manufacturers that were already producing PPE have significantly ramped up capacity. And many companies are converting their excess manufacturing capacity to produce personal protective equipment.
In fairness, this may only be a reason for some of these companies to “keep the lights on” right now. But many of these companies have a good story to tell. And it’s that story that can make them solid investments in the future.
View the "6 Stocks to Help You Profit Off the Coronavirus PPE Boom".