3 COVID-19 Vaccine Stocks In Focus After AstraZeneca’s Vaccine Clinical Trial Paused

Are These Vaccine Stocks In Focus This Week?

When it comes to trading biotech stocks, speculation is the name of the game. As the world races for a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, there have been numerous breakouts in the biotech space. That’s when they have reported strong data from clinical trials. But bear in mind numerous setbacks could happen at any stage of the clinical trials, even at the final stage. 

AstraZeneca (AZN Stock Report) is one good example of how one highly potential vaccine could reverse course even at its final phase of clinical testing. The British pharmaceutical company has paused the U.S. clinical trial of its coronavirus vaccine, AZD 1222. This came after a serious possible adverse reaction shown in a clinical trial testing in the United Kingdom. While it isn’t clear whether the patient fell ill because of AZD 1222, it has definitely hurt investors’ confidence at this stage. 

With thousands of people enrolled in coronavirus clinical trials, there’s a great chance that one of the many participants would fall sick unrelated to the vaccination. Of course, to prove that is totally unrelated could be challenging. And the company could only rule out this possibility by testing the vaccine on more patients.  If the adverse event happens in only one out of 50,000 participants, it might not be an issue. But no one knows for sure. Therefore, we know AZN stock is going to be volatile moving forward. The question is, will one vaccine candidate’s safety concern benefit the others? Here are a few biotech stocks that are trading higher after AstraZeneca paused their clinical trials. Are they on your watchlist?

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Top Vaccine Stocks To Watch In September 2020: Moderna Inc

Shares of Moderna (MRNA Stock Report) were under enormous pressure on Tuesday morning following a sizable downgrade from SVB Leerink. The analyst downgraded the vaccine specialist by lowering the 12-month price target to $41 per share from $58. This comes after another vaccine candidate appears to have overtaken Moderna from a development standpoint. This sent MRNA stock down by approximately 13%.

biotech stocks (MRNA stock)

However, the analyst gave the rating before knowing that AstraZeneca will pause their clinical trials in the U.S. Which is why we are seeing MRNA stock jumping today. Initially, many analysts have been expecting Moderna to lose a sizable chunk of market share to other phase 3 competitors. However, a pause in AstraZeneca’s clinical trials is leading investors to bank on other vaccine stocks. And Moderna gets a slight boost. So the question here is, is the downgrade overly pessimistic?

If you ask me, it is a realistic target and that’s because Moderna doesn’t have a huge pipeline of drugs to fall back on if its vaccine candidate doesn’t materialize. But, if AZN really does fallout completely, then we won’t be surprised to see a boost in MRNA stock.

Top Vaccine Stocks To Watch In September 2020: Pfizer Inc

Pfizer (PFE Stock Report) and BioNTech (BNTX Stock Report) have secured regulatory approval to conduct phase 2/3 for their coronavirus vaccine candidate. In fact, Pfizer might have its COVID-19 vaccine on the market through an emergency use authorization before Halloween. Both collaborators have so far enrolled 25,189 participants as of this week.

biotech stocks to buy (PFE stock)

BioNTech CEO and co-founder Ugur Sahin said: “A large, controlled Phase III study is a crucial prerequisite to proving the safety and efficacy of a vaccine. The integration of sites in Europe, and now especially in Germany, is aimed at supporting approval in Europe.”

Should the vaccine candidate be successful in clinical trials, Pfizer and BioNTech plan to seek regulatory approval for BNT162b2 Covid-19 vaccine as early as October this year. That said, PFE stock remains one of the best biotech stocks to watch with a potential upcoming catalyst.

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Top Vaccine Stocks To Watch In September 2020: Novavax

Shares of Novavax (NVAX Stock Report) saw its value nearly halved in the past 5 weeks. But that doesn’t hurt the bulls, especially for investors who bought at the beginning of this year. Despite dropping more than 40% in recent weeks, NVAX stock is still 1,800% higher than where it was at the beginning of this year. This has put other vaccine stocks to shame when it comes to percentage gains.

best biotech stocks (NVAX stock)

For investors who have missed the opportunity in investing in NVAX stock, will the price correction be a good buying opportunity? Novavax is anticipating interim data from the results before the end of the year. Investors need to bear in mind that good results from phase 1 are by no means a guarantee that it will succeed in phase 2. Although a phase 3 candidate has a higher chance of getting regulatory approval, the risk for a potential setback is still there, just like what we saw with AstraZeneca.

In its most recent quarterly results, Novavax reported just $35.5 million in revenue and a loss of $17.5 million. The markets seem to be expecting the vaccine to be successful already given the valuation. That is a risk for you to decide if you want to take it.

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