What happened?

Shares of BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) are down by 4.6% as of 1:34 p.m. EDT on Thursday, despite the company not reporting any news. However, with all three major U.S. market indexes dropping today (as of this writing), it is safe to assume that shares of the German biotech are being dragged down along with the broader market. 

So what

Earlier this year, BioNTech teamed up with pharma giant Pfizer to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus. The two companies' lead candidate, BNT162b2, is currently undergoing a phase 2b/3 clinical study. The trial will involve 30,000 participants aged 18 to 85. Its primary endpoints will be the prevention of COVID-19 in patients who have yet to be infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, as well as the prevention of the disease whether or not an individual has already contracted the virus. 

Man holding his head in panic with a downward-pointing graph in the background

Image source: Getty Images.

Thanks to these efforts, BioNTech's stock surged during the first half of the year, but the company has been giving up much of these gains over the past month and a half (or so). Since July 22, BioNTech's stock is down by more than 40%. Today's market sell-off probably exacerbated this situation for the biotech company.

Now what

BioNTech has no products on the market at the moment, and its near-term prospects hinge on its COVID-19 programs. That is not necessarily a bad thing considering its vaccine candidate is widely regarded as one of the leaders in the race. BioNTech and Pfizer plan on releasing some data on the ongoing phase 2b/3 clinical study for BNT162b2 as early as October. Also, the two companies have signed deals with the U.K. and U.S. governments (among others) to deliver millions of doses of their vaccine, pending regulatory approval. Given these factors, BioNTech's stock could recover from its recent woes. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.