(Benzinga.com) – Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) shares were advancing strongly Monday after a rival vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE – ADR (NASDAQ: BNTX) showed efficacy in a late-stage study.
High Bar For Moderna To Clear: The 90% vaccine efficacy demonstrated by Pfizer and BioNTech sets an extremely high bar for Moderna, SVB Leerink analyst Mani Foroohar said in a Monday note.
The data announcement — and uptick in COVID-19 cases — removes any concerns surrounding a delay in the number of cases needed to hit the first interim point, the analyst said.
Moderna is on track for a first interim readout this month, he said.
“We anticipate MRNA shares to be up materially today with this positive read across, given the similar mechanism of action for both vaccines, but see risk/reward into MRNA’s own data release as skewed to the downside given cross-trial comparisons to PFE/BNTX’s (excellent) data released today,” Foroohar said.
Fauci Fuels Hopes For 2 Vaccines: While applauding Pfizer for the positive data, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci seemed to suggest Moderna’s late-stage trial may also have a similar outcome.
“The results are really quite good, I mean extraordinary,” Fauci said, according to The Independent.
Pfizer’s results might bode well for the vaccine being developed by Moderna in collaboration with the NIAID, as both use similar technology, Fauci reportedly said.
Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna, are developing mRNA vaccines, which work by introducing an mRNA sequence coded for a disease-specific antigen. Once produced within the body, the antigen is recognized by the immune system, preparing it to fight the virus.
MRNA Price Action: At last check, Moderna shares were advancing 7.97% to $78.23.