Pfizer And BioNTech Are Taking The Next Step Toward A Pan Covid Shot – Investor's Business Daily

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Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) said Thursday they’ve started testing a next-generation Covid shot. But the vaccine stocks creeped higher.
The next-generation Covid vaccine hopes to loop in a part of the immune system called T cells. Researchers have found that T cells recognize parts of the virus that don’t mutate as rapidly as the spike protein, the target of current vaccines. In theory, this would allow the new vaccine to keep up with new variants.
The companies plan to add the updated technology to their already launched updated booster shot, which blocks the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of omicron as well as the ancestral strain.
On the stock market today, both vaccine stocks reversed earlier losses. Pfizer stock rose 0.6% to 48.33. BioNTech stock gained 0.8% and closed at 166.26.
The companies said they plan to test the new vaccine in 180 healthy adults age 18-55 in the U.S. Every participant will have received at least three doses of a messenger RNA-based Covid vaccine. Moderna (MRNA) makes the other mRNA shot available in the U.S.
The study will test different dose levels of the new vaccine in combination with the omicron-adapted bivalent booster shot. They hope the new vaccine will generate stronger and longer-term protection. Pfizer and BioNTech say the study is part of their efforts to develop a vaccine that would block every strain of the Covid-causing virus.
Extending the Covid franchise will be important for the vaccine stocks. Analysts expect BioNTech’s sales peaked last year. They forecast Pfizer and Moderna will hit their peaks this year. So far, uptake of the bivalent booster shot is minimal. About 10% of people age 5 and older — the eligible population — have gotten those updated shots.
Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.
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