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What Awaits Pharma Giants in Last Lap of COVID-19 Vaccine Race?

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On Nov 18, Pfizer, Inc. (PFE - Free Report) and BioNTech SE (BNTX - Free Report) said that data analysis of their final-stage COVID-19 vaccine trial showed that it was 95% effective in preventing infection from the deadly virus, once again raising hopes in just about a week. Several companies have been working relentlessly toward finding a vaccine for the coronavirus and the positive news once again sent markets on a rally.

A number of other companies too came up with positive news on the vaccine front in the past week, while a few companies, which are in their late-stage trial, are about to announce their results in the coming weeks. Although coronavirus cases have been on the rise in the United States — flaring up fears in the minds of millions — the positive news may somewhat boost their confidence.

A Vaccine in the Offing?

Pfizer and BioNTech on Wednesday said that data from the final stages of the trail has shown that their vaccine candidate BNT162b2 is 95% effective and becomes highly effective within 28 days of the first dose. Moreover, it is 94% effective in the elderly, who are the most vulnerable to the virus. This sent shares of both Pfizer and BioNTech on a rally, gaining 0.8% and 4%, respectively.

Investors’ confidence got a further boost after the company said that it plans to submit an application for emergency use application of the vaccine in the next few days. This raised hopes that a vaccine might hit the markets anytime soon.

The announcement comes a week after the two pharmaceutical giants said that the vaccine was found 90% effective in treating patients with severe COVID-19 infections.

Competitors Try to Catch Up 

On Nov 9, just hours after Pfizer and BioNTech’s announcement, Eli Lilly and Company (LLY - Free Report) came up with further positive news that its monoclonal antibody drug bamlanivimab was given approval by the FDA for emergency use to treat the deadly coronavirus. Pfizer and BioNTech each carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

According to a CNBC report, the FDA said that bamlanivimab could be used to treat COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms and above 12 years of age. Besides, Pfizer and Eli Lilly, some other drugmakers are in the final stages of their clinical trial and about to announce the results of their final-stage trial soon.

In yet another breakthrough, on Nov 16, Moderna, Inc. (MRNA - Free Report) said that preliminary results from a clinical trial with more than 30,000 volunteers showed that its experimental COVID-19 vaccine was 94.5% effective.

Although University of Oxford and AstraZeneca plc’s (AZN - Free Report) vaccine candidate faced a minor setback last month following the death of a volunteer in Brazil, preliminary data shows that their COVID-19 vaccine candidate also proved to produce immune responses in both adults and young people.

Also, Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD - Free Report)  in May had received an emergency-use authorization for its experimental coronavirus drug from the FDA based on preliminary results from two clinical trials: one conducted by the NIAID and the other by Gilead. 

The positive news on the vaccine front has started coming just at a time when fears of another wave are surging.

These Stocks Are Poised to Soar Past the Pandemic

The COVID-19 outbreak has shifted consumer behavior dramatically, and a handful of high-tech companies have stepped up to keep America running. Right now, investors in these companies have a shot at serious profits. For example, Zoom jumped 108.5% in less than 4 months while most other stocks were sinking.

Our research shows that 5 cutting-edge stocks could skyrocket from the exponential increase in demand for “stay at home” technologies. This could be one of the biggest buying opportunities of this decade, especially for those who get in early.

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