Several major coronavirus vaccine stocks are sinking after today Moderna (NASDAQ: mRNA) Announced interim efficacy results for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate mRNA-1273. Shares of Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) As of 11:19 pm EST on Monday, they were down 3.9%. During this, BioNTech (NASDAQ: BNTX) And Novavax (NASDAQ: NVAX) Shares fell 13.2% and 10.6% respectively.
Investors feel that the coronovirus vaccine market can be seen as a zero-sum game, where some vaccines lose when the other vaccine wins. This is a flawed possibility, however.
Modern’s news was certainly very good. The company announced an efficacy of 94.5% for mRNA-1273 with no significant safety concerns. CEO Stephen Bansell also stated that the interim results gave the first clinical recognition that the experimental vaccine could prevent severe cases of COVID-19.
This efficacy was in the ballpark of 90% or higher of efficacy reported by Pfizer and BioNTech for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate BNT162b2 last week. Both mRNA-1273 and BNT162b2 use a similar approach, where messenger RNA (mRNA) is engineered to produce proteins similar to the spike proteins on novel coronovirus SARS-CoV-2.
Morden’s vaccine may have an edge over the vaccine that has been developed from a logistic approach by Pfizer and Bioentech. BNT162b2 must be stored at minus 70 ° C and can be kept at temperatures between 2 and 8 Celsius for only seven days. Modern’s new formulation of mRNA-1273 can be refrigerated for up to 30 days and kept at room temperature for 24 hours.
With this advantage, however, both of these mRNA vaccines should be highly successful with FDA emergency use authorities considering them safe. But what about Novavax? The company lags behind Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna, with its plan to begin a one-day Phase American study of the experimental COVID-19 vaccine NVX-CoV2373 later this month.
However, this too quickly negates Novax’s chances of success. NVX-CoV2373 will have no cold storage problems with mRNA vaccines. If the coronavirus vaccine candidate provides high efficacy, then look for Novax to be a big winner. And with the biotech stock being much smaller than the other major players, the NVX-CoV2373 can generate the biggest profit of the Novax group if it delivers to its potential.
The next major milestone for Pfizer and BioNTech is to file for the FDA Emergency Use Authority (EUA). This filing can now come any day. With modern EUA filings it would probably be hot on their heels. The main thing to watch with Novavax is the initiation of its American Phase 3 study within a few weeks. The company also expects interim results to be announced in early 2021 from its UK late-stage study of the NVX-CoV2373.