S&P, Nasdaq close higher on vaccine hopes, improving data

Henrietta Brewer
July 3, 2020

Shares in drugs titan Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) surged on Wednesday in NY as did those of German group BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) as the pair posted positive early-stage trial results for a vaccine against the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19).

There were 45 healthy adults included in the study, with 24 administered two doses of 10 and 30 µg, 12 who received a single 100 µg, and nine who were the placebo control.

In addition to BNT162b1, the two companies have a further three mRNA vaccine constructs that are being clinically tested.

Pfizer and BioNTech announced on Wednesday that this preliminary data will help them determine a dose level for the vaccine then select which of their multiple vaccine candidates to progress to a larger-scale global Phase 2/3 study, possibly beginning as early as this month.

According to the disclosed data, 24 healthy volunteers who had received two dosages of its BNT162b1 drug on developed higher levels of COVID-19 antibodies than typically seen in infected people after 28 days.

However, gains have been limited given worries the jump in new Covid-19 cases, resulting in California becoming the latest US state to re-impose lockdown measures, will have on future demand.

There are more than 140 vaccines now being developed in a bid to get out of the crisis. These concentrations are 8- and 46.3-times the GMC of 602 units/ml in a panel of 38 sera from subjects who had contracted SARS-CoV-2, BioNTech and Pfizer said.

Still, manufacturing and labor data continued to show signs the recovery remains on track.

Bourla also said: "If things go well, and the stars are aligned, we will have enough evidence of safety and efficacy so that we can... have a vaccine around the end of October".

"If the ongoing studies are successful and the vaccine candidate receives regulatory approval, the companies expect to manufacture up to 100 million doses by the end of 2020 and potentially more than 1.2 billion doses by the end of 2021", adds Pfizer.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes closed higher on Wednesday to kick off the third quarter as increasing optimism for a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine eased concerns that another round of business lockdowns was likely. The method could provide a rapid way to develop a vaccine, but it's yet to lead to a licensed one for sale.

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