Why Shares of BioNTech Rose Friday

What happened

Shares of BioNTech (NASDAQ: BNTX) were up as by much as 5.3% on Friday before closing the session up 3.85% after the biotech company announced positive news regarding a clinical trial for its non-small cell lung cancer therapy candidate. The stock is still down more than 27% so far this year. The company focuses on immunotherapies to treat cancer, infectious diseases, and other diseases.

So what

BioNTech's shares have been sliding because sales of Comirnaty, the COVID-19 vaccine it developed with Pfizer, are falling. The news that BNT316/ONC-392, a therapy that it is developing in partnership with privately-held biopharma OncoC4, is doing well in a phase 1/2 trial to treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) didn't move the stock as much as it could have on what was an up day for the markets. The company said it plans to begin a phase 3 trial of BNT316/ONC-392 as a monotherapy to treat immunotherapy-resistant NSCLC patients in the third quarter.

Now what

In the first quarter, BioNTech saw a big decline in revenue, reporting it made 1.27 billion euros (roughly $1.37 billion), down from 6.37 billion euros (about $6.8 billion) in the same period a year ago. Its earnings per share (EPS) dropped from 14.24 euros (roughly $15.27) to 2.05 euros (about $2.20).

However, it has plenty of cash on the books -- 12.2 billion euros (around $13 billion) -- to develop its oncology pipeline, which includes three other candidates, led by BNT323, which is in a phase 1/2 clinical trial as a treatment for advanced/unresectable, recurrent, or metastatic HER2-expressing solid tumors.

BioNTech already proved itself with Comirnaty, but it expects only $5 billion in revenues from that vaccine this year. At its current price, it appears to be a bargain, trading for around 4 times earnings. If it is able to successfully launch another drug, it certainly has the financial muscle to market it.

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Jim Halley has positions in Pfizer. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Pfizer. The Motley Fool recommends BioNTech Se. 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.


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