BioNTech share price soars to record as vaccine success spurs on biotechs

The German company was among the top gainers as the biotech sector regained lost footing and optimism about economies reopening bolstered stocks.
The German company was among the top gainers as the biotech sector regained lost footing and optimism about economies reopening bolstered stocks.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - BioNTech SE, the vaccine maker partnered with Pfizer Inc on its Covid-19 shot, rose as much as 10% on Monday (May 3) as the stock rallied past US$200 (S$265) a share at the open, 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-BioNTech as well as Moderna have helped the US reach more than 245 million doses administered, while side-stepping some of the safety concerns that have arisen for shots from AstraZeneca 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 5.7% from an April 12 trough while the broader market climbed 1.7%. Returns for the biopharma benchmark still trail S&P 500 stocks for the year.

"Vaccines are winning," Raymond James analysts led by Chris Meekins said in a note to clients.

In the US, infections, death and hospitalisations 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 US$19 billion in 2021.

Pfizer rose as much as 2.4% on Monday for the biggest gain since April 16.

Moderna also jumped as much as 5.6% in early trading, and the stock topped its record closing high of US$185.98.

Other companies waiting on critical data on their Covid-19 inoculations were mixed, including CureVac which rose about 3% and Novavax with a 12% decline.