Are These The Best Biotech Stocks To Buy Amid Surging COVID-19 Cases?
Looking for top biotech stocks to watch this week? You are not alone. Biotech stocks have been a trending topic to watch in the stock market today. With the third wave of coronavirus cases officially worse than the first two, the need for a safe and effective vaccine is becoming more pressing than ever. Of course, vaccines are not the only game in town. There are many companies out there working on treatments for other diseases as well. Earlier this week, we saw a breakout in small-cap biotech stock Five Prime Therapeutics (FPRX Stock Report) which soared more than 300% after reporting positive data for its treatment for gastric cancer.
A lot of attention may be given to these biotech stocks that are having breakouts overnight. But investors are also anticipating the clinical trial data of the coronavirus vaccine candidate under the Operation Warp Speed program. Of course, if you have been following the vaccine news, some of the best biotech stocks you may know include AstraZeneca (AZN Stock Report) and Novavax (NVAX Stock Report).
Could These Biotech Stocks Win The COVID-19 Race?
As the world races for a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, there have been numerous breakouts in the biotech space. That’s when they have reported strong data from clinical trials. But bear in mind numerous setbacks could happen at any stage of the clinical trials, even at the final stage.
With thousands of people enrolled in coronavirus clinical trials, there’s a great chance that one of the many participants would fall sick for reasons unrelated to the vaccination. Of course, to prove that it is totally unrelated could be challenging. And the company could only rule out this possibility by testing the vaccine on more patients. If the adverse event happens in only one out of 50,000 participants, it might not be an issue. But no one knows for sure. Granted, this is only my opinion. Nevertheless, there are a few biotech stocks that stand out in the stock market today. And that could be because of their unique value proposition. If you have read this far, perhaps you’re interested in the biotech companies that are working on coronavirus programs. If so, do you have this list of top biotech stocks to watch right now?
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Best Biotech Stocks To Buy [Or Sell] Right Now: Moderna Inc.
First up the list, Moderna (MRNA Stock Report) stock jumped nearly 9% on Wednesday’s intraday trading. It also ticked higher during the extended trading hours. This came after the company said it’s on track to report early data from a late-stage trial of its experimental coronavirus vaccine later this month. In Moderna’s vaccine clinical trial, there had been enough COVID-19 cases for a review of preliminary results. That suggests we could be hearing more information from the company anytime soon. Moderna could file for U.S. emergency use authorization in early December should the clinical data prove supportive.
On top of the positive news from the coronavirus vaccine front, Moderna also announced promising results from a clinical trial with an experimental cancer vaccine. Its messenger RNA-based candidate, mRNA-4157, when given in combination with Merck’s (MRK Stock Report) cancer immunotherapy Keytruda, reduced tumor sizes in 5 out of 10 patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).
What’s more, 2 of the patients managed to achieve complete remission. With two positive developments working in favor of Moderna, is MRNA stock the best biotech stock to buy now?
Best Biotech Stocks To Buy [Or Sell] Right Now: Pfizer Inc.
Pfizer (PFE Stock Report) is all over the headlines this week. The pharma giant announced earlier this week that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate had achieved more than 90% efficacy. In a study with tens of thousands of volunteers, Pfizer is the first drugmaker to show successful data from a large-scale clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine. To date, the company said it found no serious safety concerns. The company also expects to seek U.S. emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) later this month.
The company’s stock price soared upon announcement on Monday but took a breather on Wednesday. This came after reports that the CEO cashed out 60% of his holdings on the same day the company unveiled the announcement. “The sale of these shares is part of Dr. Bourla’s personal financial planning and a pre-established (10b5-1) plan, which allows, under SEC rules, major shareholders and insiders of exchange-listed corporations to trade a predetermined number of shares at a predetermined time,” Pfizer said.
The company has partnered with German biotech company BioNTech SE (BNTX Stock Report) to develop this vaccine candidate. The efficacy rate is well above the 50% effectiveness that is required by the FDA for a COVID-19 vaccine. Pfizer has enjoyed a 30% increase in its share price since March and last closed at $38.50 on Wednesday. Pfizer in its third-quarter fiscal posted in October had reported a revenue of $12.1 billion. Though Dr. Bourla’s stock sale on Monday was significant, the company stated that he still held “approximately nine times his salary in Pfizer stock.” With all that in mind, would you say that PFE stock is a top biotech stock to buy right now?
Best Biotech Stocks To Buy [Or Sell] Right Now: Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ Stock Report) is another top biotech stock that is on the hunt for a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. The company previously reported that the single dose of its COVID-19 vaccine induced a “strong” neutralizing antibody response in nearly all participants aged 18 years and older. The company expects its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, JNJ-78436735, to be available for emergency use by early next year.
Although the company faces a fair share of legal problems over its baby powder and opioids, it’s still a globally trusted brand that continues to generate good returns for shareholders. This stock is also worth paying attention to for its attractive dividends. J&J pays out a lucrative quarterly dividend of $1.01, translating to a 2.73% yield, making it one of the best dividend stocks in the market. In April, the company declared a 6.3% increase in the quarterly dividend rate. This along with the CEO highlighting the company’s strong financial position sets the stage for J&J’s future.
The company has also signed a manufacturing deal for its vaccine candidate with Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing Inc. This is in line with J&J’s strategy to start the distribution of its vaccine upon FDA approval. Analysts have indicated a potential upside of 10.4% for this share as it begins its Phase 3 trial. As this company enters the final lap of the vaccine race, will you be putting your money on JNJ stocks to bet on a successful vaccine?