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Too Early to Call BioNTech the Winner in the COVID-19 Vaccine Race, Says Analyst

·2 min read

Unfortunately, Covid-19 is still on the rampage across the globe. However, the good news is that the newest data coming from late stage studies indicates a vaccine may soon become widely available.

Amongst the candidates entering the final stretch is BNT162b2, the result of a collaboration between BioNTech (BNTX) and Pfizer (PFE). The final efficacy analysis from the Phase 3 trial showed the vaccine had a 95% success rate in preventing the coronavirus, far above the 50% required by the FDA in order to gain regulatory approval. The partnership has filed for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), and an FDA advisory committee is set to meet on December 10 to discuss the way forward.

H.C. Wainwright analyst Robert Burns believes there is a “high likelihood that the FDA advisory committee shall recommend approval of BNT162b2.”

This is obviously good news, but what does it mean specifically for BioNTech investors? Here Burns doesn’t exude as much confidence.

The Covid-19 vaccine space is crowded, with other programs nearing the finish line, too. Different candidates have differentiating features setting them apart from one another. A drawback for BioNTech/Pfizer’s offering is its need to be stored at ultra-low temperatures; at -94°F for up to six months or up to five days at 36-46°F.

The 5-star analyst highlights how this potential limitation can impact its success when compared to other candidates.

“For instance,” Burns noted, “Moderna recently announced that its mRNA-1273 can be stored at 36-46°F for up to 30 days and maintains stability at room temperature for 12 hours. Furthermore, CureVac has stated that CVnCoV is stable for at least three months at refrigerated temperatures, and up to 24 hours at room temperature. Given this potential disadvantage for BNT162b2, we believe it may be premature to definitively call BNT162b2 the clear-cut winner in the COVID-19 vaccine race.”

To this end, Burns reiterates a Neutral (i.e. Hold) rating on BNTX shares without specifying a price target. (To watch Burns’ track record, click here)

Overall, the Street is evenly split when assessing BioNTech’s prospects; 4 Buys and Holds, each, coalesce to a Moderate buy consensus rating. However, riding its vaccine candidate’s promise, BNTX shares are up by 207% year-to-date, and the analysts feel the stock has surged enough for now; At $102.43, the projection is for downside of 4% in the coming 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.