The odds of getting a Covid-19 vaccine in the near future are improving, with major companies carrying out late-stage clinical trials. Our indicative theme of Coronavirus Vaccine stocks – which includes a diverse set of U.S. based pharma and biotech companies developing Covid vaccines – is up by about 780% year-to-date, on an equally weighted basis, compared to the S&P 500 which has gained just about 9% over the same period. While Pfizer (PFE) and Moderna (MRNA)– two of the leaders in the race – are likely to provide efficacy data from late-stage trials in the coming weeks, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) faced a setback, as it had to pause advanced clinical trials after an unexplained illness was reported in a participant. Below is a bit more on the companies in our theme of Coronavirus Vaccine stocks and relative performance.
Novavax (NVAX), a late-stage biotechnology company engaged in vaccine development, has seen its stock surge by over 2,800% year to date, driven by its Covid-19 vaccine development work. In late September, the company’s vaccine candidate entered Phase 3 efficacy trials in the United Kingdom. Novavax is also looking to develop a combined influenza/Covid-19 vaccine that can be used post the pandemic.
Moderna (MRNA), a clinical-stage biotech that is carrying out phase 3 trials of a Covid-19 vaccine, has seen its stock rally 300% this year but remains down by about -18% from its July highs. The company expects to have data on whether its vaccine works or not by November, and is likely to seek emergency approval from the FDA if the data is positive. (Related: How much could a Covid-19 vaccine add to Moderna’s EPS?)
Pfizer (PFE) is working with German partner BioNTech on a Covid-19 vaccine. The stock is down by -3% year-to-date and by about -10% since 2018. Phase 3 trials for the vaccine began in the U.S. in July and the company expects to have key data on efficacy around the end of October. The company has said that it’s possible that the vaccine could be distributed in the U.S. before the end of the year if it’s found to be safe and effective. (related: Eli Lilly Or Pfizer: Which Is The Better Bet)
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), which is currently in the Phase 3 stage of its Covid-19 vaccine clinical trial, said on Monday that it had to pause trials after an illness was reported in one of the volunteers. Unlike most other vaccine candidates, which are likely to require two shots, J&J is targeting a single-dose vaccine. The stock is up by about 4% year-to-date and is up by about 21% since 2018.
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