Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) are making major waves Monday morning. Over the weekend, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said the two companies should know if their novel coronavirus vaccine candidate works by the end of October. Pfizer stock is rallying on the news.
Why does this matter? Pfizer and BioNTech have long been leading the coronavirus vaccine race. They have progressed through clinical trials and posted favorable data. And when AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) had to halt its trial, PFE and BNTX soared.
Investors want a vaccine, and they want it soon. As the pair continues to clear hurdles and progress through late-stage trials, they are giving the entire stock market hope. President Donald Trump has said he could grant early approval to a coronavirus vaccine candidate as early as October. This approval would accelerate vaccine deployment, and hopefully, the return to normal.
The message from Bourla this weekend fit perfectly with that timeline. Here is another reason Pfizer stock is soaring. October results could translate to December vaccinations. Bourla shared that the companies were prepared to distribute “hundreds of thousands of doses.” Pfizer and BioNTech have racked up supply deals, including with the United States. Through Operation Warp Speed, the U.S. has secured at least 100 million doses of the vaccine candidate.
As investors process what American vaccine deployment would mean for various hard-hit industries, it should be no surprise Pfizer stock and BioNTech are rallying Monday morning.
Pfizer Stock Pops on Trial Expansion
The other reason for investor excitement Monday is news Pfizer and BioNTech are expanding their late-stage trials. Over the weekend, Pfizer filed for such expansion with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Its initial trial target was to enroll 30,000 participants.
Now, Pfizer and BioNTech are targeting an even larger trial, with 44,000 participants. Why does this matter? First, consumers are looking for evidence that pharmaceutical companies have motivations that go beyond money. Some 35% of polling respondents shared they would not get a vaccine. Americans have expressed concerns over political and financial motivations, doubting the accelerated research and development timeline. Pfizer, BioNTech and a handful of other companies are looking to change that. Recently, they signed an open letter promising to uphold the scientific method.
The expanded trial is another sign of good faith. Pfizer and BioNTech want to enroll more participants to improve and diversify the trial. Pfizer shared, for example, it would seek to recruit individuals under 16 years old. Another new participant group could include individuals with chronic but stable HIV.
On the date of publication, Sarah Smith did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Sarah Smith is a Web Content Producer for InvestorPlace.com