Analysts begin to speculate on which of the Covid-19 vaccines could win, after scientists working on two of the most advanced vaccine programs made presentations about their progress at a meeting of a key advisory committee at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday. vaccine. ,
(ticker: MRNA) rose 6.4% on Wednesday after the company presented new positive data at the meeting about tests of its vaccine in a small number of older adults, but fell 3.6% on Thursday morning. Shares of
(PFE), which also presented at the meeting, fell 0.9% on Wednesday and 0.3% on Thursday, while Pfizer’s partner
(BNTX) fell 3.7% on Wednesday and 0.6% on Thursday. De
was up 0.5% Thursday morning.
In a note Wednesday, Jefferies analyst Michael Yee said the positive early data on Moderna’s vaccine in older adults could differentiate the vaccine from Pfizer’s product if it holds Phase 3 data. “When MRNA shows Phase III data, it is generally better than in the elderly [patients] (because of data today) that we all agree is a major subgroup risk population – this may begin to differentiate the faxes, “he wrote.
Chardan analyst Gbola Amusa, meanwhile, in a note Wednesday, said new information on how the faxes Moderna and Pfizer should be stored could also differentiate the products. Moderna’s vaccine is expected to be stable for a week at normal cooling temperatures, so no special infrastructure would be needed to disperse it. Pfizer, meanwhile, said at Wednesday’s meeting that it would have to send its vaccine on dry ice, and would require dry ice or ultralow temperature storage at the facility’s administration.
“While we understand that the CDC and other agencies can assist in setting up cold storage and distribution infrastructure, the simpler requirements for Moderna’s product currently appear to be an advantage,” Amusa wrote.
However, SVB Leerink analyst Mani Foroohar warned that storage restrictions for the Pfizer and Moderna faxes – both based on messenger RNA technology – could ultimately be a major disadvantage compared to faxes offered by other companies. Storage “may in fact still be significantly inferior to competitors that are not mRNAs with a protein subunit approach with much more allowable storage conditions,” he wrote.
Goldman analyst Salveen Richter said the vaccine data in elderly patients continued to derail the vaccine from an investment perspective.
Both companies said they were halfway through entering their Phase 3 trials. Pfizer was able to get data in time for a Oct. 22 meeting of the Food and Drug Administration’s advisory committee – the date on which FDA commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn, confirmed on Twitter on Wednesday. Commission advice to authorize the fax could trigger rapid action ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.
Write to Josh Nathan-Kazis by [email protected]