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BioNTech: Side Effects Won't Stop Covid Vaccine Trial With Pfizer

BioNTech’s CEO said the company and partner Pfizer don’t need to halt their late-stage trial of a coronavirus vaccine due to side effects.
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BioNTech  (BNTX) - Get Free Report shares rose after the German biotech's chief executive said the company and partner Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Free Report don’t need to halt their late-stage trial of a coronavirus vaccine due to side effects.

The side effects that have cropped up in its study are similar to those seen in smaller, earlier trials, CEO Ugur Sahin told Bloomberg 

BioNTech is maintaining its goal to offer preliminary data on the vaccine’s effectiveness as soon as this month, Bloomberg reports. That might put it and Pfizer first in the continuing race to develop a vaccine.

Eli Lilly  (LLY) - Get Free Report and Johnson & Johnson  (JNJ) - Get Free Report both said this week that they’re pausing their trials of Covid vaccines amid safety issues.

BioNTech shares recently traded at $88.06, up 1.4%. They have jumped 88% year to date amid enthusiasm over the vaccine. 

Pfizer recently traded at $36.59, down 0.7%. Shares of the New York health-care giant have climbed 7% year to date.

Morningstar analyst Karen Andersen expressed optimism for the vaccine efforts of BioNTech and its competitors in an Aug. 30 report.

“While strong antibody and T-cell responses in several Phase 1 studies of covid-19 vaccines don't guarantee protection against infection or severe disease, we're increasingly bullish that most of the vaccines entering late-stage development in the U.S. will meet Food and Drug Administration guidelines for approval,” she wrote.

Emergency-use authorization could come before year-end for Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Free Report, Pfizer/BioNTech, and AstraZeneca  (AZN) - Get Free Report/Oxford, “based on interim efficacy data from Phase 3 studies,” Andersen said.

The progress is “a testament to the innovation and clinical trial expertise at wide-moat firms like Pfizer and AstraZeneca and the positive moat trend at RNA vaccine firm BioNTech.”

Andersen put fair value at $56 for BioNTech.