Pfizer will remain attractive in the medium term as the pharma industry continue to outperform for the next few quarters, as per market experts
Shares of Pfizer Ltd jumped almost 20% to touch its 52-week high of Rs 5875 on Tuesday morning after its parent company Pfizer Inc announced its vaccine against Covid-19 is 90?fective.
Pfizer Limited shares were trading up 7.26% at Rs 5275 in a firm Mumbai market, valuing it Rs 24,132 crore. Pfizer Inc., which is developing the vaccine with its German partner BioNTech SE on Monday, said that its experimental Covid-19 vaccine was more than 90?fective, a promising development as the world has waited anxiously for any positive news about a pandemic that has killed over 1.2 million.
According to preliminary findings, protection in patients was achieved seven days after the second of two doses and 28 days after the first. The companies said they expect to supply up to 50 million vaccine doses globally in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.
A vaccine at that level of effectiveness, administered widely, is enough to break chains of infection. Pfizer Inc. shares rose as much as 15% on Monday, while BioNTech American depositary receipts surged as much as 24%.
"We are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis. We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most," Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement.
The companies have agreed to supply deals with the US and other countries, but it's likely that front-line medical and essential workers, and at-risk groups, will receive a shot first.
With effectiveness for the first vaccines previously expected to be in the range of 60% to 70%, a rate of more than 90% "is just extraordinary," said Anthony Fauci, director of the US's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
However, questions about production, distribution, and the shot's performance and capability still need to be answered, according to vaccine specialists. The Pfizer trial started less than four months ago, and how long the vaccine will confer protection and how many will benefit are almost complete unknowns for now.
Since the Pfizer vaccine uses messenger-RNA (mRNA) technology, it will need to be stored and distributed at minus 70 degrees Celsius a big challenge for India and other developing countries with under-developed cold chain infrastructure.
On the other hand, viral vector (adenovirus) vaccines typically have less stringent refrigeration requirements and can be shipped at 2-8 degrees Celsius. The vaccine candidates being developed by Oxford/AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Sanofi/Novavax, for instance, use viral vector technology.
On the performance of the stock in the market, Sanjiv Bhasin, Director IIFL Securities, told ABP News, "Pfizer will attractive in the medium term. Besides, the whole pharma pack of stocks will continue to outperform for the next few quarters. There may be a re-rating for many pharma businesses as the vaccine unfolds."
Ravi Singhal, Vice Chairman, GCL Securities Limited, said, "Pfizer announced 90?curacy of covid vaccine, on the note, global markets have zoomed. The market is in a bull run, but a bit of profit-booking is expected on higher levels. Gap up opening due to Pfizer news people can book profit at higher levels."