COVID-19 Vaccine Makers That Have Seen Large Stock Spikes in Past Year

Stocks Rising

Publicly-traded companies that have been heavily involved in developing therapies and vaccines for COVID-19 have seen significant spikes in their stock prices over the past 10 months, including Germany’s BioNTech, which has surged 187% in one year.

BioNTech’s stock closed at $108.90 on Monday. The stock opened at $102.81 that morning. One year ago, BioNTech’s stock was trading at $85.73. BioNTech, of course, is benefitting from the highly-effective COVID-19 vaccine it developed in partnership with Pfizer. Pfizer and BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine, BNT162b2 demonstrated a 95% efficacy in clinical trials and has since received authorization for use in the United States, Europe and the United Kingdom. The company’s stock jumped Monday after BioNTech’s chief executive officer announced plans to ramp up manufacturing for the vaccine, with projections of 2 billion available doses by the end of 2021.

BioNTech’s stock could go even higher. Zhiqiang Shu, a senior biotech analyst at Berenberg Capital Markets, told CNBC Monday that he anticipates 2021 to be a “catalyst rich year” for BioNTech.

“The COVID vaccine definitely is part of the story,” he told CNBC.

While BioNTech has seen significant jumps, few stock prices of companies developing vaccines have soared like Maryland-based Novavax. One year ago, the stock was trading at $3.95 per share. On Monday, the stock closed at $120.78, a gain of more than 3,000%. Novavax will soon release data on its Phase III study of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373, which has largely been the driver of the stock gains the company has made over the past year. NVX‑CoV2373 consists of a stable, prefusion protein made using its proprietary nanoparticle technology and includes Novavax’s proprietary Matrix‑M adjuvant. Analysts at Investor Place have called Novavax a “stock to watch.” The analysts said not only could a positive readout of the COVID-19 vaccine send the stock even higher, the company is developing vaccines for other viruses, including influenza and SARS, that will likely boost prices given a positive readout.

Pfizer has also seen some gains in its stock over the past year, however, those gains have not been as significant as shares of BioNTech. Pfizer’s stock was trading at $37.33 a year ago. It closed at $37.77 Monday. Even as the company invested more than $2 billion of its own funds into the development of the COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer spent a portion of the past year spinning its Upjohn Business Unit off into a standalone company that merged with Mylan. Those companies have formed a new generics giant known as Viatris Inc. The companies initially announced the planned merger in July 2019 and said the combined businesses will have a pipeline valued at about $20 billion. Viatris will launch with numerous well-known products in its arsenal, including the Epi-Pen, Viagra, Lipitor, Celebrex and others. The merger ran into a delay earlier this year due to COVID-19’s impact on the regulatory review process.

AstraZeneca, which has also received authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine for use in the U.K. has actually not seen a significant jump in its stock over the past year. The stock has remained relatively stable over the course of the past 12 months. One year ago, AstraZeneca’s stock was trading for $49.67 per share. On Monday, the stock price closed at $50.56 per share.

Johnson & Johnson anticipates a readout of its Phase III single-dose vaccine later this month. The life sciences giant’s stock has remained fairly stable over the past year. On Jan. 12 2020, the stock was trading at $145.70. On Monday, it closed at $159.38. A positive readout of the Phase III study could cause a significant bump in the company’s stock price, especially considering the vaccine is a single-dose and is stable in normal refrigeration for three months. If the vaccine proves to be effective against COVID-19, the company said it plans to produce 1 billion doses by the end of the year.

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