What happened

Shares of BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) were jumping 6.7% higher as of 11:03 a.m. EST on Monday. The gain came after a spokesperson for the European Commission confirmed that the commission is in discussions with BioNTech and its partner Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) about potentially ordering more doses of COVID-19 vaccine BNT162b2, marketed as Comirnaty.

So what

The European Commission initially placed an order for 200 million doses of BNT162b2 in November 2020. In December, it exercised an option to obtain another 100 million doses of the vaccine. 

Vaccine vials

Image source: Getty Images.

Any additional order of significant size would be great news for BioNTech and Pfizer. The companies didn't release financial details of their previous agreements with the European Commission. However, a Belgian official inadvertently tweeted the pricing last month, revealing that Belgium paid $14.70 per dose for BNT162b2. At that price, another 100-million-dose order would generation nearly $1.5 billion in sales for BioNTech and Pfizer to split equally.

The possibility that BioNTech's revenue could increase even more in the near future is a pretty good reason for the biotech stock to jump today. However, the key unanswered question right now is how much the company will be able to count on it in future years. 

Now what

There are two key things to watch that could answer this big question for BioNTech. The first is the duration of the protection provided against coronavirus infection by BNT162b2 and other vaccines. Multi-year protection would mean that BioNTech's annual revenue going forward will be lower. Second, investors will want to closely monitor the developments with other vaccines. In particular, a high efficacy for Johnson & Johnson's single-dose COVID-19 vaccine could change the market dynamics for BioNTech and Pfizer.