Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) rank as the clear leaders in the COVID-19 vaccine race. Both companies hope to win U.S. emergency use authorizations (EUA) this month. But does one of these drugmakers have an edge over the other? In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on Dec. 3, 2020, Healthcare and Cannabis Bureau Chief Corinne Cardina and Fool.com writer Keith Speights discuss how Pfizer and Moderna stack up against each other.
Corinne Cardina: That option could definitely be a catalyst if they are exercised. That'll be interesting to watch. For investors, considering buying stock of Moderna or Pfizer, do either of these have an edge over the other? Is it basically a wash because the supply is nowhere near the demand right now, any thoughts on these as investments?
Keith Speights: Well, in terms of does either company have an edge over the other? I would say yes.
Moderna, for example, figured out a way to address the ultra-cold storage requirements for messenger RNA vaccines. I think that gives them an edge in certain respects.
Pfizer, of course, is huge, they've really thought through the logistical process. They have a lot of experience navigating the regulatory hurdles across the world. I think you would say, yeah, Pfizer probably has an edge over Moderna on that front. Moderna hasn't done this before. They've never won approval for anything.
Each company has its pros and cons. I do think though that Moderna stock is more tied to the success for its vaccine whereas Pfizer stock has a lot of other factors driving its success. I would expect good news for Moderna would move that stock more than good news for Pfizer would. But as you reported earlier, Corinne, Pfizer had a great few days, a great week or so, and probably would have a nice bump if they win EUA.
Corinne Cardina: Definitely. Although, Pfizer has some other things going on that could be impacting that increase in its stock. It just spun off it's up drawn unit, so a couple of different elements. It's hard to isolate what exactly is powering that up.
Keith Speights: Again, that was anticipated as well. Some of these things aren't surprises, but even good news that is expected isn't totally baked into the price. A lot of it could be, but then when the news finally arrived, the stocks still get a bump, and I think we'll see that with both Pfizer and Moderna.