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Why BioNTech Stock Was Blasting 20% Higher This Week

By Eric Volkman – Nov 19, 2021 at 3:56PM

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The FDA's approval of coronavirus vaccine boosters wasn't the only reason for the stock's pop.

What happened

Still a front-line soldier in the war against the resurgent coronavirus, BioNTech (BNTX 0.79%) was very much on investors' radar this week.

Comirnaty, the COVID vaccine it's developed with U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, is not only the go-to jab in many jurisdictions, on Thursday it also received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorization as a booster shot for previously vaccinated adults. But this wasn't the only reason the stock was trading more than 20% higher week-to-date as of late afternoon Friday.

So what

BioNTech's stock was up 5% on that day alone, after the FDA granted that authorization for boosters of both Comirnaty and Moderna's (MRNA -2.01%) comparable mRNA-1273. This was especially welcome news given that coronavirus cases have leaped to a six-week high as the cold weather starts to bite across the U.S.

A medical professional holding a dollar sign paperweight.

Image source: Getty Images.

The Comirnaty booster had previously been authorized for adults, but only those in certain categories (the immuno-compromised, for example). Roughly 31 million U.S. adults in those groups have received boosters; with the expanded approval, a great deal more are sure to get fresh jabs.

While Comirnaty is BioNTech's only approved product, the biotech is making a hard push to be more than just a coronavirus stock. Somewhat lost in the satisfaction of the latest FDA booster approval is the fact that the company's efforts in the cancer treatment sphere are bearing fruit.

Also on Friday, BioNTech happily announced that the FDA had granted Fast Track Designation to one of its leading pipeline treatments, BNT111, in the fight against advanced melanoma. BNT111 is an immunology drug based on the company's FixVac platform that utilizes mRNA to fight disease. 

Now what

So the battle against the coronavirus is going to continue to need all the forces it can muster, while BioNTech is forging well ahead in the very crucial oncology segment. This week's news was very positive for the company, so it's no surprise it was rewarded by investors with a healthy share price bump.

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Moderna Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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