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Why BioNTech Stock Soared 46% in November

By Beth McKenna - Dec 4, 2020 at 10:00AM

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The German biotech and its partner Pfizer announced great news about their coronavirus vaccine candidate last month, and kicked off December with a big win.

What happened

Shares of German clinical-stage biotech BioNTech ( BNTX 3.17% ) soared 45.5% in November, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

For context, the S&P 500 returned 11% last month.

Small vial with "Coronavirus vaccine" written on it and a stethoscope sitting on a flat white surface.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

BioNTech's strong performance last month was due to a spate of great news about the company's vaccine candidate, BNT162b2, for the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19. It developed the messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine with its partner, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer ( PFE 2.32% ).

Shares of BioNTech rocketed 22.6% in the two-day period following the partners' Nov. 9 announcement that their vaccine candidate was more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 based on initial data from a large-scale phase 3 clinical study. In addition, they said they had found no serious safety concerns. 

Shares jumped 9.2% in the two-day period following the two companies' Nov. 18 announcement outlining the very positive final results from the phase 3 study. BNT162b2 was found to be 95% effective against COVID-19 beginning 28 days after the first of the two-dose vaccination. Moreover, the partners achieved the safety data milestone required by the Food and Drug Administration for the vaccine to be considered for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

Then on Nov. 20, shares of BioNTech moved up 9.6% following the two companies' announcement that on that day they planned to submit an EUA request to the FDA. That move made them the first to reach this milestone. Moreover, the partners said they "have already initiated rolling submissions across the globe including in Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan and the U.K."

Now what

BioNTech and Pfizer started December with a bang, as on Wednesday the U.K. became the first country to give the regulatory green light to BNT162b2.

Investors in BioNTech and Pfizer can probably expect the FDA's official decision by the middle of this month. The agency has scheduled a meeting on Dec. 10 to discuss the companies' request for an EUA. The FDA's granting of an EUA for BNT162b2 seems as close to a sure thing as it gets. 

BioNTech and Pfizer expect to supply up to 50 million vaccine doses globally in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021.

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.

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Stocks Mentioned

BioNTech SE Stock Quote
BioNTech SE
$344.06 (3.17%) $10.57
Pfizer Inc. Stock Quote
Pfizer Inc.
$54.27 (2.32%) $1.23

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