According to the World Health Organization, there are now 23 coronovirus vaccine candidates in clinical trials. Four of them use an approach that involves engineering messenger RNA (mRNA) sequences to produce direct ribosomes in human cells similar to proteins found on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 – in other words. , An antigen virus that causes COVID-19.
BioNTech (NASDAQ: BNTX) And Moderna (NASDAQ: mRNA) Two of those four mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidates were developed. So far, Modern’s efforts have received much more attention than Bioentech’s program. But which of these coronovirus-focused stocks is now a better pick for investors?
Case for BioNTech
Probably the most important reason that investors may prefer biotech over Modern is the difference between their respective valuations. Modern’s market cap is currently about 50% higher than BioNotech. If the candidate for the COVID-19 vaccine is successful, it should give BioNTech more room to run.
Another reason that BioNTech may attract investors’ attention is its chances of success are arguably better than Modern’s. BioNTech actually has four experimental COVID-19 vaccines that are a candidate for clinical trials vs. modern. Its two candidates – BNT162b1 and BNT162b2 – Recently won the fast-track designation from the Food and Drug Administration based on the strength of preliminary results from a Phase 1/2 clinical trial that showed high levels of neutralizing antibodies in patients receiving BNTT2B1 .
Partnering with BioNTech also provides a benefit Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), Which the companies started in March. Pfizer brings to the table financial resources and a global distribution chain that should help BioNotech both during the development of its coronavirus vaccine candidates and while meeting the mark (assuming this) in clinical trials.
But investors should not ignore the rest of BioNtech’s pipeline. Its prime candidate, BNT122, is currently in Phase 2 testing in partnership Roche As a first-line treatment for melanoma. BioNTech also has 10 other programs in early stage trials.
Case for modern
Why Buy Moderna Instead Of BioNTech? Some investors may like that this vaccine is ahead in the testing process. The company hopes to begin a Phase 3 study of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, later this month – a few weeks later than it was originally planned. BioNTech, meanwhile, hopes to begin a Phase 2 B / 3 study of BNT 162, probably in late July.
Some may even speculate that the security profile for a Modern candidate may be better than that for Bioentech candidates. There is no way to know yet how the two biotech ‘COVID-19 vaccine candidates will stack up against each other. However, Modern is moving into late-stage testing with a 100-μg dose, while a 100-μg dose of BioNotech has produced adverse effects – typically injection site pain – compared to lower doses in Phase 1/2 test subjects More often.
There is also a flip side to Biotech’s partnership with Pfizer that could work for the benefit of modern shareholders. The financial details of the collaboration between BioNTech and Pfizer have not been made public. However, you can bet that if Modern is approved compared to BioNTech, it will pocket a large portion of the profits from the sale of its COVID-19 vaccine.
Finally, Modern’s pipeline is arguably stronger overall – it has three programs in Phase 2 testing (excluding mRNA-1273) compared to BioNotech, with just one. Two of those programs were promising enough to attract interest from big drug manufacturers AstraZeneca And Merck.
In addition, there are 11 mRNA programs in the early stage trial of Modern. BioNTech has more than one (not counting its COVID-19 vaccine candidates).
Better Coronavirus Vaccine Investment Now…
At this point, the pros and cons of these two stocks argue, in my view, to invest in either of them. In addition clinical test results may swing the pendulum well toward one. But, for now, I think both BioNTech and Moderna already have potential for big winners.
However, keep in mind that there is still a possibility that these two stocks could cause major losses in the coming months. There is sufficient reason to be cautiously optimistic about the prospects for their COVID-19 vaccine candidates. However, the risk level for both biotech stocks will remain very low until the results of the Phase 3 trial are available.