If you had bought $10,000 in BioNTech (BNTX 3.74%) on the date of its IPO in Oct. 2019, your investment would be worth well over $68,820 as of Dec. 16. There is one key reason for the spectacular run-up. BioNTech and its development partner, Pfizer (PFE 1.01%), successfully developed a coronavirus vaccine (BNT162b2) and received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday, Dec. 11.
This is the first-ever coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. to both have late-stage efficacy data and enter the public sphere via regulatory clearance. Right now, many investors are checking out Pfizer's stock due to its consistent revenues, sturdy profit margins, dividend payout, and long-standing status as a giant in the pharma industry. I think that, however, BioNTech would better suit growth investors looking for bigger gains. Here are two reasons why.
1. Massive revenue potential
Pfizer and BioNTech have a 50-50 partnership, in which gross profits and expenses from BNT162b2's commercialization will be shared equally between the two. The benefits of this arrangement will be a lot more evident in BioNTech's case than Pfizer's, as its market cap stands at $30 billion compared to the pharma giant's $228 billion. The two companies currently have over 670 million orders of its vaccine from 13 countries and the E.U. and active options to supply another 500 million doses.
Based on a price tag of $19.50 per dose, it would mean that BioNTech would have up to $6.5 billion in upcoming revenues in the bag (after an equal split).
What's more, the countries that already ordered vaccines could exercise their options to purchase hundreds of millions more doses. By next year, Pfizer and BioNTech expect to scale their production capacity to 1.3 billion doses. Assuming they can successfully sell that many, it would mean BioNTech stock is currently trading for as little as 2.4 times forward revenue.
Tens of billions in sales isn't all that much for Pfizer, but it is big news for a company like BioNTech that has never brought a product to market.
2. An mRNA-heavy pipeline
The success of its messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine could serve as proof of concept for BioNTech's other research programs. For example, the company is partnering with Sanofi (SNY -0.21%) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN 2.14%) to advance an mRNA intratumor therapy (BNT131) and an mRNA melanoma vaccine (BNT111), respectively. Both candidates demonstrated therapeutic signals in early stages with favorable safety profiles.
In total, BioNTech has 11 products in its oncology pipeline going through 12 clinical trials. The vast majority of them will enter phase 1 testing in 2021.
Even if only one of those candidates succeeds, that would mean a massive boost to BioNTech's stock. As of now, large-cap biotechs are buying out smaller companies with novel FDA-approved cancer treatments for between $5 billion to $21 billion. Keep in mind, that valuation is mostly for companies with just one approved cancer drug in their pipelines.
I think BioNTech has one of the best upsides among all coronavirus vaccine stocks for all the reasons above. It is definitely not too late to buy some shares for investors with a "buy high and sell even higher" mentality.