Pfizer, BioNTech shares gain as more data backs vaccine candidate

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Pfizer has said repeatedly since June that it was targeting October for its application and the companies started a large late-stage study last month of the candidate vaccine, one of the few globally in later stages of development.

On Thursday they reported data from previous early-stage trials of the vaccine, BNT162b2, that showed it induced similar immune responses and had milder side effects than prior data on another candidate.

Pfizer stock, down 1% this year, has trailed the stellar rises in value of major pharmaceutical companies this year. Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) and Britain’s AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) are among those to have moved into late-stage trials.

Raymond James European Strategist Chris Bailey said the Pfizer/BioNTech release had contributed to a more optimistic mood on stock markets on Friday.

Pfizer shares rose 1% while those of BioNTech were 6% higher before the bell.