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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: NVAX, MRNA, VIR and BNTX

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Zacks Equity Research
·6 min read
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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – September 23, 2020 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Novavax NVAX, Moderna MRNA, Vir Biotechnology VIR and BioNTech SE BNTX.

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

4 Biotechs That Have More Than Doubled Thanks to Coronavirus

Several drugmakers are working relentlessly to develop a vaccine or a treatment for the deadly coronavirus disease, which has infected 31.5 million people globally and killed almost 10 million. Other than large drugmakers, many small biotech companies are also actively involved in developing a medicine/vaccine for COVID-19. All eyes are on these companies as fears of a second wave of infections are doing the rounds and a vaccine looks like the only solution, which can bring an end to this catastrophe

Undoubtedly, shares of small biotech companies involved in making medicines/vaccine for COVID-19 saw new highs in 2020 as they witnessed success in their endeavors. Here we discuss four such small biotechs whose stocks have almost doubled this year so far due to their efforts to make a vaccine/medicine for treating COVID-19. Most of these stocks have also seen northward movement in their earnings estimates.


Shares of Novavax have risen 2667.6% this year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 has gone up from $5.44 per share to $7.29 per share while that for 2021 has gone up from $15.15 per share to $18.98 per share over the past 60 days. The company carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Novavax received federal funding of almost $2 billion for the clinical development of its coronavirus vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373. The vaccine candidate is currently being evaluated in a phase II study after an early-stage study showed that NVX-CoV2373 was generally well tolerated and elicited robust antibody responses, numerically superior to what was seen in human convalescent sera (antibodies derived from blood donated by people who recovered from the illness). Novavax plans to begin phase III studies soon.


The company is developing an mRNA-based vaccine, mRNA-1273, in collaboration with National Institutes of Health (NIH) for treating COVID-19. mRNA-1273 was the first vaccine candidate to begin phase III development in July and represents a solid revenue opportunity for the company.

The company enrolled 25,296 participants out of 30,000 in the study as of Sep 16, 2020. More than 10,000 participants have been administered the second dose. A successful development will significantly boost its short-term prospects. The company is also on track to sign advanced agreements with different countries for potential supply of mRNA-1273, following its approval. Shares of this #3 Ranked biotech have risen 254.1% this year so far.

Vir Biotechnology

Shares of Vir Biotech have risen 154.4% this year. Its estimates for 2020 have narrowed from loss of $2.57 per share to $2.08 per share over the past 60 days. The company carries a Zacks Rank #3.

Vir Biotechnology’s investigational monoclonal antibody, VIR-7831 entered phase II/III study in August for the early treatment of COVID-19 in patients who are at high risk of hospitalization. Vir Biotech targets to launch VIR-7831 by the first half of 2021.

A phase II study on another monoclonal antibody, VIR-7832, is expected to begin later this year. Vir Biotechnology is developing the antibody treatments in partnership with Glaxo. Monoclonal antibodies directed against the SARS-CoV-2 virus have the potential to provide effective immune response to COVID-19.

BioNTech SE

Shares of BioNTech have risen 95.1% this year. Its earnings estimates for 2021 have gone up from $1.53 per share to $4.04 per share over the past 60 days. The company carries a Zacks Rank #3.

BioNTech’s mRNA-based coronavirus vaccine, BNT162b2, is one of the three vaccine candidates, which are in late-stage studies for treating COVID-19. BioNTech is developing this potential vaccine in partnership with Pfizer. More than 28,000 participants have already been enrolled in the phase III clinical trial currently being conducted in the United States, Brazil, Argentina and Europe. The companies also plan to increase the number of participants in the late-stage studies.

BioNTech and Pfizer expect to file regulatory applications for BNT162b2 by October and it is being viewed as one of the first candidates to reach the market. Eventually, if the vaccine is approved this year, Pfizer/BioNTech plan to manufacture up to 100 million doses by the end of this year and potentially more than 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021.

These Stocks Are Poised to Soar Past the Pandemic

The COVID-19 outbreak has shifted consumer behavior dramatically, and a handful of high-tech companies have stepped up to keep America running. Right now, investors in these companies have a shot at serious profits. For example, Zoom jumped 108.5% in less than 4 months while most other stocks were sinking.

Our research shows that 5 cutting-edge stocks could skyrocket from the exponential increase in demand for “stay at home” technologies. This could be one of the biggest buying opportunities of this decade, especially for those who get in early.

See the 5 high-tech stocks now>>

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performancefor information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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Moderna, Inc. (MRNA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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