Vaccine makers BioNTech and Moderna skyrocket on strong demand

Vrasidas Neofytou
Head of Investment Research

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The biotech companies behind the successful development of Covid vaccines have seen their stocks skyrocketing by almost 300% since the start of the year, after rising 1,000% in 2020.

The two leaders in the vaccine space, BioNTech and Moderna, have been some of the best performing stocks in 2021 as demand for vaccines keeps growing while they have more promising mRNA vaccine candidates in their pipelines.

BioNTech is a German biotech company which has collaborated with U.S. drugmaker, Pfizer, to develop the first authorized and the most successful Covid vaccine using messenger RNA technology.

Moderna is the first US-based biotech company to produce its own Covid vaccine using the same mRNA technology as BioNTech. Yet, Moderna’s market capitalization is much larger than BioNTech’s after its listing in the S&P 500 index in July. 

The impressive stock performance is mainly due to the expected future sales of the vaccine since the pandemic has proved more difficult to contain than initially thought, especially after the emergence of the highly transmissible “Delta” variant.

Investors remain bullish on these high-flying biotech companies following the comments from top U.S. infectious disease official, Anthony Fauci, that persons with compromised immune systems may need a vaccine booster, while the FDA is expected to give emergency authorization for covid vaccines to children under age 12 in a few months.

Interestingly, both BioNTech and Moderna will use their billions in cash to finance their research pipelines in the years to come. The companies are developing several mRNA-based vaccines and therapies to prevent cancer, malaria, and other life-threatening diseases that impact millions of people worldwide each year.

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