BioNTech's stock price zoomed more than 26% to $39.01 a share after the Mainz-based company announced it will begin testing in late April its proposed coronavirus vaccine, BNT162.
Developed under its "Project Lightspeed" initiative, BioNTech's proposed new vaccine relies on the body's messenger RNA, which carries the genetic code for making proteins, to help inoculate against the spread of the coronavirus.
Cambridge, Mass.-based Moderna is using a similar approach as it also races to develop a vaccine, with testing on it slated to begin Monday in Seattle in a drug trial funded by the National Institutes of Health. Shares of Moderna (MRNA) - Get Report rose 19.72% to $25.50 a share on Monday.
BioNTech is also teaming up with Fosun Pharmaceutical Co., which has agreed to shell out $135 million to handle the sale - and share in the profits - of the new vaccine in China.
The German biotech said it is also in talks with Pfizer (PFE) - Get Report, which it called an "existing collaborator," to team up on sales of the vaccine outside China, should it prove effective and win regulatory approval.
BioNTech also said it has been in "close contact" with regulatory and scientific authorities across about its potential vaccine and is in "ongoing" discussions with research organizations in hopes of making a "vaccine available to the public as quickly as possible worldwide."