BioNTech Hits Record as Vaccine Success Spurs on Biotechs

BioNTech SE, the vaccine maker partnered with Pfizer Inc. on its Covid-19 shot, rose 10% on Monday as the stock rallied past $200 a share, breaking yet another record after closing at new highs four out of five days last week.

The German company was among the top gainers as the biotech sector regained lost footing and optimism about economies reopening bolstered stocks. Shots from Pfizer and BioNTech as well as Moderna Inc. have helped the U.S. reach more than 245 million doses administered, while side-stepping some of the safety concerns that have arisen for shots from AstraZeneca Plc and Johnson & Johnson.

The biotech sector is bouncing back after hitting a four-month low in early April on regulatory concerns related to industry consolidation, new drug applications and potential legislation to rein in the cost of prescriptions. The Nasdaq Biotech Index is up 5.6% from an April 12 trough while the broader market climbed 1.6%. Returns for the biopharma benchmark still trail S&P 500 stocks for the year.

BioNTech Hits Record as Vaccine Success Spurs on Biotechs

“Vaccines are winning,” Raymond James analysts led by Chris Meekins said in a note to clients. In the U.S., infections, death and hospitalizations are still moving in the right direction, with cases now at their lowest seven-day average since early October. But other parts of the world like India are still suffering amid a massive resurgence in infections, they added.

First-quarter earnings from Pfizer on Tuesday before the stock market opens could provide a further boost for the German biotech. Morgan Stanley expects the pharmaceutical heavyweight to “significantly raise” its vaccine sales expectations for the year and forecasts they could top $19 billion in 2021. Pfizer closed 3.1% higher on Monday for the biggest gain since Dec. 8 after the Biden administration said it will support its move to begin exporting U.S.-made doses of its coronavirus vaccine.

Moderna also jumped 4% Monday, topping its record closing high of $185.98.

Other companies waiting on critical data on their Covid-19 inoculations were mixed, including CureVac NV which rose about 2.8% while Novavax Inc. slumped 18% as investors continue to wait for its Covid vaccine data results that were expected last month.

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