Markets

Why BioNTech Stock Sank Today

What happened

Shares of BioNTech (NASDAQ: BNTX) were sinking 6.2% lower as of 3:33 p.m. EDT on Monday. The decline appeared to result from speculation by Bernstein biotech analyst Vincent Chen that the coronavirus vaccine candidate BNT162b2 developed by BioNTech and its partner Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) could have lower efficacy than expected.

So what

Chen thinks it's likely that BioNTech and Pfizer have had two interim analyses from the late-stage study of BNT162b2 already. The partners have publicly stated that preliminary efficacy results could be announced in October. Because the companies haven't announced any data yet, Chen suspects that the vaccine could have had a lower efficacy than initially hoped.

Physician giving a shot in a person's arm

Image source: Getty Images.

However, there are plenty of other reasons why the companies might have opted to hold off on announcing preliminary late-stage efficacy results. For example, Pfizer provides its third-quarter update on Tuesday morning. It's possible that the big drugmaker wanted to wait to report the results for BNT162b2 at the same time.

The bottom line is that at this point any discussion of the efficacy of BNT162b2 is purely speculation. And as long as the vaccine doesn't have worrisome safety issues, an efficacy of 50% or more will be enough to win FDA emergency use authorization.

Now what

We should soon know how well BioNTech's experimental coronavirus vaccine is faring in late-stage studies one way or another. In the meantime, the biotech stock will likely remain relatively volatile -- especially with increased choppiness in the overall stock market.

10 stocks we like better than BioNTech SE
When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now... and BioNTech SE wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

See the 10 stocks

*Stock Advisor returns as of October 20, 2020

Keith Speights owns shares of Pfizer. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

In This Story

BNTX PFE

Latest Markets Videos

    The Motley Fool

    Founded in 1993 in Alexandria, VA., by brothers David and Tom Gardner, The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial-services company dedicated to building the world's greatest investment community. Reaching millions of people each month through its website, books, newspaper column, radio show, television appearances, and subscription newsletter services, The Motley Fool champions shareholder values and advocates tirelessly for the individual investor. The company's name was taken from Shakespeare, whose wise fools both instructed and amused, and could speak the truth to the king -- without getting their heads lopped off.

    Learn More