Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Why COVID Vaccine Stocks BioNTech, Moderna, and Novavax Are Sliding While Ocugen Is Rising

By Keith Speights – Sep 17, 2021 at 11:17AM

Key Points

  • An FDA advisory committee is meeting today about booster doses for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
  • Several vaccine stocks are slipping due to investors' jitters about this meeting.
  • Ocugen stock, though, is rising as investors expect a positive WHO decision for its vaccine.

Motley Fool Issues Rare “All In” Buy Alert

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Investors are nervous about a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel meeting and optimistic about a World Health Organization decision.

What happened

Several leading COVID-19 vaccine makers saw their stocks slip on Friday morning. Shares of BioNTech (BNTX 1.27%) were falling 4.6% as of 10:58 a.m. EDT. Moderna (MRNA 4.28%) stock was sliding 2.6% lower. Shares of Novavax (NVAX 2.60%) were down 1.7% after slipping as much as 2.4% earlier in the day.

However, there was one notable exception to the downward trend. Ocugen (OCGN -3.53%), which owns U.S. and Canadian marketing rights to Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, saw its shares rise 1.9% after climbing as much as 5% earlier.

Investors appeared to be skittish about vaccine stocks today for one main reason. An advisory committee to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is discussing booster doses for Comirnaty, the COVID-19 vaccine sold by Pfizer (PFE 0.96%) and BioNTech. It's possible that the panel won't recommend boosters for all Americans as the Biden administration wants. 

On the other hand, investors appear to be more bullish about Ocugen for a different reason. The World Health Organization is expected to soon grant Emergency Use Listing for Covaxin.

A healthcare professional giving a shot to a person.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

The FDA advisory committee recommendation actually should have minimal short-term financial impact on BioNTech and Pfizer. For one thing, the FDA doesn't have to go along with the panel's recommendation. More importantly, the U.S. has already purchased enough doses from the companies to provide boosters to all Americans. 

Moderna and Novavax are affected even less than BioNTech by the FDA committee's decision. There will be another meeting in the near future to discuss Moderna's booster. Novavax hasn't even filed for U.S. Emergency Use Authorization yet for its COVID-19 vaccine.

On a similar note, the WHO decision on EUL for Covaxin won't impact Ocugen very much either. Ocugen only has commercialization rights for the vaccine in the U.S. and Canadian markets. It's unlikely that regulators in either country will be swayed in any way by whatever the WHO decides.

Now what

For BioNTech and Moderna, the most important things to watch for are potential new supply deals for their respective vaccines. Approvals of boosters might not make a difference over the short term, but they could be huge over the long term.

Novavax and Ocugen would also like to pick up supply deals of their own. However, they must first win EUAs for their vaccine candidates. Novavax hopes to soon file for EUA in several countries. Ocugen awaits a decision by Canadian regulators.

Keith Speights owns shares of Pfizer. The Motley Fool recommends Moderna Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Nearly 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Ocugen, Inc. Stock Quote
Ocugen, Inc.
$1.50 (-3.53%) $0.06
Pfizer Stock Quote
$50.61 (0.96%) $0.48
Novavax Stock Quote
$16.92 (2.60%) $0.43
Moderna Stock Quote
$183.44 (4.28%) $7.53
BioNTech Se Stock Quote
BioNTech Se
$169.14 (1.27%) $2.12

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 12/01/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.