Biotech stocks have been all the rage in the stock market this year. This came as a number of companies have aspired to end the coronavirus pandemic. Now, as Pfizer (PFE Stock Report) and BioNTech (BNTX Stock Report) have reported a 95% efficacy, they are now trying how to get the vaccines out to the masses safely. Apart from having to distribute them through a complex and costly system, the vaccines must also be thawed from -70 degrees celsius and injected within five days. Otherwise, they would go bad.
“Its production is costly, its component is unstable, it also requires cold-chain transportation and has a short shelf life,” said Ding Sheng, director of the Beijing-based Global Health Drug Discovery Institute, which has received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The high expenses that come with the vaccine distribution lead investors to look for other top biotech stocks to buy in the stock market today. Why do I say that? While Pfizer’s vaccine is highly efficacious, it is simply not that feasible for a global roll-out. This is because many countries lack the necessary capacity and capability to deliver them safely. And investors knew that. Is that why Pfizer’s share price has not been climbing as fast as its rivals in the COVID-19 vaccine arena? Possibly. But that’s also because Pfizer is a large pharma that does not depend on the success of a single product. If you are looking for top biotech stocks that are trading higher while Pfizer lags behind, read on. Will any of the following top biotech stocks be on your list to buy or avoid this week?
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Moderna (MRNA Stock Report) is one of the best biotech stocks to buy in the stock market today. MRNA stock has been on fire after a primary efficacy analysis of its vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, found it to be 94.1% effective against the novel coronavirus. Shares of MRNA made another huge jump of 20.24% on Monday. This came after the biotech company released more encouraging data and is now seeking U.S. FDA approval. With Monday’s gain, the company’s shares have climbed nearly 130% in November alone.
Moderna will be the second drugmaker to seek emergency use from the FDA after Pfizer. The announcement means some Americans could get the first doses of Moderna’s two-dose vaccine within a few weeks. The data released were highly encouraging. That’s not to mention lower logistical hurdles in delivering the vaccine candidate compared to Pfizer’s. With that in mind, would you consider buying MRNA stock when it is showing no signs of slowing down? Or would rather wait for the hype to subside and buy on the dip instead?
“This positive primary analysis confirms the ability of our vaccine to prevent COVID-19 disease with 94.1% efficacy and importantly, the ability to prevent severe COVID-19 disease. We believe that our vaccine will provide a new and powerful tool that may change the course of this pandemic and help prevent severe disease, hospitalizations, and death,” Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said in a statement.Biotech Stocks To Buy [Or Avoid] Now #2: Vaxart
Another company that skyrocketed in 2020 is Vaxart (VXRT Stock Report). The stock’s plunge in recent months has given some investors cold feet. But let’s not forget that VXRT stock soared nearly 4,600% at its peak. That is to say even with its recent weakness, investors who bought the company’s stock beginning of this year are still up more than 2,000%. Sure, being an early stage coronavirus vaccine developer puts it under pressure. After all, Vaxart is behind those with vaccine candidates demonstrating over 90% efficacy in late-stage studies.
The company’s unique solution to the novel coronavirus is an orally administered vaccine known as VXA-CoV2-1. Unlike the leading vaccine candidates we have in the market, VXA-CoV2-1 does not require cold storage or specialized equipment to administer. Thus, distribution to the global population isn’t a problem should its oral vaccine prove to be effective. The only problem we have is that the oral vaccine candidate is several months behind the leaders in the space in terms of clinical development.
Assuming Vaxart’s vaccine candidate is able to prove its efficacy in later stage trials, the stock will likely regain the attention of investors. Nevertheless, the risk is that many other vaccine candidates could receive approvals prior to Vaxart. As speed is crucial in rolling out the vaccines, does VXRT stock have what it takes?Biotech Stocks To Buy [Or Avoid]#3: Novavax
Novavax (NVAX Stock Report) may lag behind with its vaccine candidate, NVX-CoC2373 in terms of clinical development. But I guess we can cut it some slack as the company started a few months late. It remains to be seen if its vaccine candidate can achieve an efficacy level that could be higher than the vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna. But early data were so promising that analysts referred to it as potentially best in class. Even Bill Gates agreed that it could be highly efficacious.
Sure, vaccines with the highest efficacy will potentially prove to be a game-changer for any biotech company. That’s assuming that manufacturing and distribution issues don’t get in the way. However, the possibility of winning regulatory approvals in key global markets for flu vaccine candidate NanoFlu might make the company a much bigger winner than other biotech stocks on this list. If the coronavirus becomes a seasonal virus, it wouldn’t be surprising for Novavax to become more successful than the bigger vaccine developers.
It’s hard to believe that NVAX stock was a penny stock trading at $4 per share earlier this year. If you are an early investor, you would have reaped huge benefits from its massive rally this year. While it may be trailing behind Pfizer, Moderna, and perhaps AstraZeneca in the vaccine race, this underdog could still prove to be one of the best. The reason being that Novavax’s vaccine uses a tried and tested recombinant protein method. With that in mind, would NVAX stock be worth adding to your watchlist today?