Pfizer, BioNTech Jump After Fast-Track Designation; Moderna a Buy

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Investing.com —  The race for a Covid-19 vaccine is heating up as the virus spreads unrelentingly in the U.S. and Brazil. 

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) shares rose 4.7% and BioNTech was up 18% on Monday after two Covid-19 vaccine candidates were granted fast-track designation from the Food and Drug Administration.

Meanwhile, Jefferies initiated Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) Inc. with a buy rating as its experimental vaccine for Covid-19 could generate sales of more than $5 billion a year, Bloomberg reported. Moderna shares jumped 13.5%, to $71.08 in mid-morning trading.

Jefferies (NYSE:JEF) analyst Michael Yee said a 30,000 person late-stage study will start this month and should get “at least” an emergency use authorization by early next year. Yee set a price target of $90, Bloomberg said.  MRNA has 12 buys, two holds and no sell ratings, according to data compiled by Investing.com, with an average price target of $85.36.

The U.S. and Brazil accounted for half of the new daily coronavirus cases on Sunday, more than 111,000, the World Health Organization said Monday. 

Moderna will also replace CoStar Group (NASDAQ:CSGP) in the NASDAQ-100 Index, the NASDAQ-100 Equal Weighted Index, and the NASDAQ-100 Ex-Tech Sector Index prior to market open on Monday, July 20.  

Pfizer said that if the ongoing studies are successful, and the vaccine candidate receives regulatory approval, the companies expect to manufacture up to 100 million doses by the end of 2020 and potentially more than 1.2 billion doses by the end of 2021.

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