Covid vaccine stocks Novavax (NVAX), Modern (MRNA) and BioNTech (BNTX) surged to a three-month high Friday on growing enthusiasm for an omicron booster campaign in the fall.
The Food and Drug Administration recently asked vaccine makers to tailor their next boosters for the new dominant sub-variants, dubbed BA4 and BA5. Both are offshoots of the omicron strain. They are more contagious than the first members of the omicron family, according to Yale Medicine.
Companies are aiming to launch their next boosters by October. These will be bivalent vaccines capable of targeting the BA4 and BA5 sub-variants as well as the ancestral Covid strain. Previously, vaccine makers tested boosters that aim for BA1. But as of late June, that sub-variant accounted for no cases in the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
All together, the expected demand has sent vaccine stocks trending higher. Novavax shares rose 4.1% to 76.12 on today’s stock market. Modern stock jumped 2.2% to 176.23. Shares of BioNTech, Pfizer‘s (PFE) partner, advanced 1.3% to 170.13.
Most Trusted Financial Companies – Take A Survey And Win A $ 50 Amazon Gift Card
Vaccine Stocks: Will New Boosters Stick?
There’s no guarantee the US will see massive uptake of the new boosters. About half of eligible people have not received any boosters targeting the original Covid strain. But these boosters will offer something new – a chance to fend off the new sub-variants.
Though Novavax does not yet have an authorized Covid shot in the US, experts were impressed with the company’s preliminary booster data. In testing, the prototype protected against BA1, BA2 and BA5 when administered at eight months.
In response, vaccine stocks have popped up. After hitting a low point in mid-June, Novavax stock has soared nearly 118% as of Friday’s close. Moderna stock hit a bottom about the same time and since has surged 52%. BioNTech shares have jumped 45% over the last few weeks.
Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:
Merck Reportedly Eyes $ 40 Billion Seagen Tie-Up; Will The Deal Save Biotech?
Why Top-Notch Biotech Stock Vertex Pharmaceuticals Just Hit A Record
IBD Digital: Unlock IBD’s Premium Stock Lists, Tools And Analysis Today
Looking For The Next Big Stock Market Winners? Start With These 3 Steps
Learn How To Time The Market With IBD’s ETF Market Strategy