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Pfizer/BioNTech vs. Moderna: Which Vaccine Has the Edge?

Pfizer/BioNTech vs. Moderna: Which Covid-19 Vaccine Has the Upper Hand?

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This article was originally published by TipRanks.

The past couple of weeks have seen extremely promising developments in the Covid-19 vaccine space. Both Pfizer (PFE)/BioNTech (BNTX) and Moderna (MRNA) announced positive interim data for their respective candidates.With the possibility a vaccine may become available before year’s end, Raymond James analyst Steven Seedhouse recently compared the two programs to point out any distinguishing features. Let’s take a look at the results:EfficacyInterim data for Moderna’s candidate mRNA-1273 showed a 94.5% efficacy in protecting people from Covid-19, coming in ahead of the 90% efficacy exhibited by Pfizer/BioNTech’s offering BNT162b2. However, the latter’s data was recently revised after the final analysis showed it to be 95% effective. Even before the adjustment, Seedhouse claimed the “efficacy is likely the same,” and the initial difference can be put down to “how events were counted.”“Neutralizing antibody titers were indistinguishable for both vaccines in earlier trials,” the analyst noted, “And if anything Pfizer's vaccines (b2 and b1) generated a little better CD8+ T cell response.”SafetySo far neither program has reported any safety concerns. However, Seedhouse points out the “vaccines aren't especially tolerable.” After taking a second dose, some subjects in mRNA-1273’s Phase 3 trial reported fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain and headaches, and redness at the injection site.However, Seedhouse notes that in the 18-55 30µg cohort, “BNT162b2 had a low rate of Grade 3 injection site (IS) pain AEs, which mRNA-1273 did not have.” Nevertheless, the “overall rate of IS pain was lower for BNT162b2.”StorageWhile Moderna's vaccine can be kept for up to 6 months in a standard kitchen freezer temperature of -20ºC, Pfizer's vaccine needs long-term storage (up to 6 months) at approximately -80ºC, although the type of freezer required is part and parcel of research labs and hospitals. Therefore, Seedhouse says the storage and distribution challenges are “overblown.”“Both Pfizer (for 5 days) and Moderna (for 30 days) can be refrigerated at point of use, and Moderna can be stored at room temp up to 12 hours before injection. So it's actually easy for us to see storage centralized at hospitals and delivered to local pharmacies to be simply kept in the fridge in enough supply for the day/week. Sure, Moderna has the advantage here with respect to convenience, but neither requires spaceships to store and distribute,” Seedhouse said.DistributionPfizer expects to produce 20 million doses for this month and by March 2021 the company will have 100 million doses ready for U.S. distribution. Moderna anticipates having 20 million doses for U.S. distribution this year and, likewise, 100 million by the end of 1Q21. In 2021, Pfizer is aiming for 1.3 billion doses and Moderna anticipates between 500 million and 1 billion.So, overall, it looks like Pfizer/BioNTech’s offering has a slight edge. Either way, regardless of whoever comes out on top eventually, Seedhouse ends on a bright note by saying, “a vaccine could be available to every adolescent and adult in America within 2021.”Using TipRanks’ Stock Comparison tool, we were able to evaluate these 3 stocks alongside each other to get a sense of what the analyst community has to say.
To find good ideas for healthcare stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.The post Pfizer/BioNTech vs. Moderna: Which Covid-19 Vaccine Has the Upper Hand? appeared first on TipRanks Financial Blog.

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