BioNtech (BNTX) is one of the companies at the front-line of the battle against the coronavirus. On Friday, the company announced positive progress in the development of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate (in partnership with Pfizer).
In the Phase 1 study of BNT162b2, the candidate exhibited a strong ability to induce an immune response in both young and older adults. Less than 20% of the study's subjects had symptoms of mild to moderate fever,and only a small percentage suffered more serious events. Overall, the candidate was generally well tolerated.
J.P. Morgan analyst Cory Kasimov is not surprised BNT162b2 demonstrated a better safety profile than BNT162b1 (BNTX’S other COVID-19 vaccine candidate) “at the go ahead 30ug dose.”
“Overall,” said the 5-star analyst, “We are encouraged by the data and think the safety profile of b2 compares favorably to b1 as does the tolerability in older patients. This former finding may not be entirely surprising given the b2 dose is effectively 5x less than b1 (due to mRNA length), but it is reassuring that comparable immunogenicity profiles were seen across the constructs. Although the immunogenicity in older patients appears lower than younger ones, it remains above BNTX’s convalescent sera panel and is indicative of an immune response.”
However, Kasimov also notes it is way too early to pop out the champagne. The real test comes with the Phase 3 trial for which BioNtech and its partner plan to enroll 30,000 participants. 11,000 have already been dosed, with the first results of the phase 2/3 study expected as early as October.
For now, Kasimov keeps to his Neutral (i.e. Hold) rating, along with a $68 price target, which implies a modest downside of 3.5% (To watch Kasimov’s track record, click here)
Among Street analysts, opinions on BioNtech’s prospects are currently a mixed bag. With 4 Buys and Holds each, the biotech has a Moderate Buy consensus rating. The bulls, however, have the edge, as the average price target clocks in at $80.36 and implies shares will appreciate by 14% over the next 12 months. (See BNTX stock analysis on TipRanks)
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.