Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and its German partner BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) reported incredible efficacy data from a phase 3 trial for their mRNA coronavirus vaccine candidate. This news, paired with the equally impressive data from Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) about its candidate that takes a similar approach, inspired much hope around the world and injected optimism into the stock market.
The Motley Fool talked to Dr. Leo Nissola about what this exciting development means for the world and what investors should be looking for as more data comes out.
Cardina: As I said, it is very preliminary. Are there any specific data points that you're going to be watching when more of Pfizer's data comes out and it is peer-reviewed?
Nissola: Of course. Yeah. Well, they have send out test release based on the 94 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at their interim analysis, we have yet to see the published study results. We want to see the raw data, we want to see the paper being peer-reviewed. We want to just make sure that we are on board with the fantastic news. There's nothing out there that has been proven to work so far. Although, we have 38 great candidates in Phase 1 studies and 11 in Phase 2. Anything that works, it's good news out. First, is results from this Phase 3 trial has to be seen in the context of how you came about. Preclinically, Pfizer had shown results that their vaccine worked in non-human primates. In early clinical trials, their vaccine induced good neutralizing antibody responses. That's what this vaccine does well. Now, in addition to that, we get interim efficacy results that are in the 90% range. Any percentage's pretty good. It might be even higher, but we haven't seen the data, so it can potentially be lower too. It's very important to manage expectations there.