Pfizer Inc. (PFE) and BioNTech SE (BNTX) have again come up with encouraging updates regarding their coronavirus vaccine candidate, BNT162b2. Notably, BNT162b2 has been found to meet all of the ongoing Phase 3 study’s primary efficacy endpoints post the final efficacy analysis. The data reflects a vaccine efficacy rate of 95% (p<0.0001) in study participants without prior SARS-CoV-2 infection (first primary objective) and also in participants with and without prior SARS-CoV-2 infection (second primary objective), which were measured seven days after the second dose in both cases.
As mentioned in the study protocol, the first primary objective analysis is based on 170 coronavirus cases, of which 162 cases were seen in the placebo group as against eight cases in the BNT162b2 group. Going on, vaccine efficacy was stable across age, gender, race and ethnicity demographics. Also, an efficacy of more than 94% was observed in adults aged 65 years and above. Per the companies, the Data Monitoring Committee for the study has not reported any severe safety-related concerns for the vaccine candidate till now.
Both the companies currently project to manufacture up to 50 million vaccine doses globally in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021. Pfizer and BioNTech also plan to soon apply to the FDA for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) along with other regulatory agencies around the world.
Vaccine Race Gets Intense
Another frontrunner in the coronavirus vaccine race — Moderna (MRNA) — has come up with encouraging study data relating to mRNA-1273. National Institutes of Health -appointed Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) for the Phase 3 study of mRNA-1273 has informed Moderna that with a vaccine efficacy of 94.5%, the trial has met the pre-mentioned statistical parameter in the study protocol for efficacy. Notably, the aforesaid study, which is known as the COVE study, is being conducted in association with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). It enrolled more than 30,000 participants in the United States.
Moderna aims to submit for an EUA with the FDA in the coming weeks based on the above-mentioned interim safety and efficacy data.
Positive updates have come for the coronavirus vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca (AZN). Going by the preliminary findings of a peer-reviewed phase two trial, their coronavirus vaccine is safe and causes a similar immune response among all adults, per a CNBC article. The same article also mentions that the encouraging early-stage results were published in one of the world’s top medical journals, The Lancet.
ETFs to Shine Bright
Pfizer and BioNTech’s progress in coronavirus vaccine has happened at a time when the total number of coronavirus cases has crossed the grim mark of 56 million globally. Notably, the world’s largest economy has seen more than 11 million cases alone. The worsening coronavirus crisis is therefore increasing desperation among investors over the introduction of a vaccine or a treatment. In such a scenario, Pfizer’s progress in coronavirus vaccine is going to raise investors’ optimism. Thus, let’s look at ETFs with high exposure to Pfizer that can gain from the recent development:
First Trust Nasdaq Pharmaceuticals ETF ( FTXH Quick Quote FTXH - Free Report)
This fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield, before fees and expenses, of the Nasdaq US Smart Pharmaceuticals Index and holds 29 stocks in its basket, with Pfizer making up for a 7.71% share. The product has AUM of about $20.2 million. The fund charges 60 bps in fees and expenses. It has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (Hold) (read:
3 Reasons to Bet on Healthcare ETFs). First Trust Morningstar Dividend Leaders ETF ( FDL Quick Quote FDL - Free Report)
This ETF replicates as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield of the Morningstar Dividend Leaders Index and holds 100 stocks in its basket. Pfizer holds 6.99% weight in the fund. The product has amassed $1.37 billion in its asset base. Expense ratio is 0.45%. The fund has a Zacks ETF Rank #3, with a Medium-risk outlook (read:
ETFs in Focus as IBM Posts Another Quarter of Revenue Decline). WisdomTree U.S. High Dividend Fund ( DHS Quick Quote DHS - Free Report)
This fund seeks to track the investment results of high-dividend-yielding companies in the U.S. equity market. With AUM of $758.8 million, it charges 38 bps in fees a year. In total, the product holds 295 securities, with Pfizer making up for a 5.45% share. The product has a Zacks ETF Rank #3, with a Medium-risk outlook.
iShares Core High Dividend ETF ( HDV Quick Quote HDV - Free Report)
This ETF provides exposure to 74 established, high-quality U.S. companies by tracking the Morningstar Dividend Yield Focus Index. Pfizer accounts for 5.17% of the total assets. The product has $5.72 billion in AUM and charges 8 bps in fees and expense. It has a Zacks ETF Rank #3, with a Medium-risk outlook (read:
Pandemic Surges, Stimulus Fades: ETF Strategies to Follow). iShares Evolved U.S. Innovative Healthcare ETF ( IEIH Quick Quote IEIH - Free Report)
This fund employs data science techniques to identify companies with exposure to the innovative healthcare sector and holds 249 stocks in its basket, with Pfizer making up for a 5.02% share. The product has AUM of about $26.6 million. The fund charges 18 bps in fees and expenses.
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