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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Pfizer, BioNTech, Moderna and J&J

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – January 28, 2022 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Pfizer PFE, BioNTech BNTX, Moderna MRNA and J&J JNJ.

Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Pfizer, BioNTech Begin Study of Vax for Omicron Variant

Pfizer and its partner for COVID-19 vaccine BioNTech initiated a clinical study to evaluate an Omicron-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which is expected to be better at preventing infection from Omicron.

The first participants enrolled in the study have received the Omicron-based vaccine candidate as a two-dose primary series and as a booster dose. The study, which is being conducted in healthy adults 18 through 55 years of age, will include some participants from the companies’ phase III COVID-19 booster study.

The study will include three cohorts that will evaluate different regimens of the present COVID-19 vaccine or an Omicron-based vaccine. Earlier this month, Pfizer’s chief executive officer (CEO) had said in an interview to CNBC that their Omicron vaccine would be ready in March.

Pfizer’s stock has risen 52% in the past year compared with an increase of 16.6% for the industry.

Germany-based BioNTech’s shares have risen 46.1% in the past year against the industry’s decrease of 37.9%.

Data from preliminary laboratory studies, announced in December 2021, showed that three doses of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID vaccine neutralized against infection with the Omicron variant, while two doses showed significantly reduced neutralization titers. The data showed that the third dose increased the antibodies against the Omicron variant by 25-fold compared to the two doses. The data indicated that though two shots of the vaccine may still be effective at preventing severe infection caused by the Omicron variant, the protection gets better with a third shot.

Infection rates due to the Omicron variant are reaching record highs globally due to its ability to bypass the protection provided by the currently available vaccines. Though the currently available COVID-19 vaccines and their booster doses are preventing severe infections, hospitalization and death, the protection they offer eventually weakens over time.

However, to maintain a high level of protection against Omicron and future variants over the long term, it is important to have variant-based vaccines. Other vaccine makers like Moderna and J&J are also developing updated variant-based vaccines and boosters in order to respond to this variant.

Like Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna also announced that the first participant in a phase II study on its Omicron-specific booster candidate has been dosed. Moderna also announced neutralizing antibody data against the Omicron variant, which showed that six months after the third 50 µg dose of Moderna was given, neutralizing titers against Omicron declined. However, the neutralization levels remained detectable in all participants. 

J&J is also pursuing a new vaccine against Omicron, which will be pushed to clinical development, rapidly, if needed.

Both Pfizer and BioNTech sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.


Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America

A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made.

The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?”

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Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Pfizer Inc. (PFE): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Moderna, Inc. (MRNA): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
BioNTech SE Sponsored ADR (BNTX): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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