Pfizer (PFE) Shares Gained 1.72% After Hours as Company’s Coronavirus Drug Looks Promising

UTC by Teuta Franjkovic · 3 min read
Pfizer (PFE) Shares Gained 1.72% After Hours as Company’s Coronavirus Drug Looks Promising
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Pfizer had initially planned to enter clinical trials for its coronavirus drug by the end of the year. Now it hopes to start the trials in the third quarter. Pfizer shares price is rising.

American multinational pharmaceutical corporation Prizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) shares closed with 1.72% growth on Thursday after-market to $36. During the trading session yesterday PFE shares were 2.28% up. Such growth can be attributed to the company’s news. Pfizer announced it is initiating battle against coronavirus pandemic on several fronts, as it expects to start human tests on a potential drug to treat COVID-19 as early as August or September this year and is working on a vaccine.

New York-based pharmaceutical giant confirmed that based on the results of initial screening it found several compounds had blocked an enzyme used by the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. The company’s chief scientific officer, Mikael Dolsten said that the possible antiviral, “if successful, would be given early in the disease process, when patients are admitted to the hospital.”

He also added the potential treatment has so far shown positive signs in preclinical work. The drug seeks to “counter the expansion of the virus,” Dolsten noted.

Pfizer had initially planned to enter clinical trials for a COVID-19 drug by the end of the year, according to Dolsten. However, now it hopes to start those trials in the third quarter, meaning “just a few months from today,” he said.

Pfizer, BioNTech to Co-Develop Coronavirus Vaccine

In addition, as previously announced Pfizer is collaborating with partner BioNTech in developing a COVID-19 vaccine with human testing expected to start this month.

Dolsen commented:

“Potential to supply millions of vaccine doses by the end of 2020 subject to the technical success of the development program and approval by regulatory authorities.”

He said the companies now expect — if the vaccine is successful and regulatory approval is granted — to be able to “supply millions of vaccine doses by the end of 2020.” “This is much faster than the original prediction of 18 months,” Dolsten said. “It’s almost half the time.”

The potential mRNA-based coronavirus vaccine from Moderna is expected to enter clinical testing by the end of April, the companies said in a press release. Pfizer and BioNTech previously collaborated on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

Co-Founder and CEO of BioNTech Ugur Sahin then said:

“This is a global pandemic, which requires a global effort. In joining forces with our partner Pfizer, we believe we can accelerate our effort to bring a COVID-19 vaccine to people around the world who need it.”

Pfizer Has Strong Portfolio

Pfizer didn’t have an easy quarter, that’s for sure. The biggest negative impact that the coronavirus is having on Pfizer is that the company’s planned merger of its Upjohn unit with Mylan has been pushed back. Pfizer originally expected the deal would close in the first half of 2020. However, if it manages to happen it will probably be done sometime in the second half of the year.

However, even though Pfizer’s Upjohn-Mylan deal doesn’t wrap up any time soon, this probably won’t be a big deal. Also, it expected that the current situation should push Pfizer’s longer-term prospects beyond the current coronavirus crisis. We also shouldn’t forget the fact that Pfizer’s remaining portfolio will probably be full of numerous blockbuster drugs that are generated solid sales growth. The top three stars are blood thinner Eliquis, a breast cancer drug Ibrance, and pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar 13. But Pfizer also has other drugs that are picking up steam, such as prostate cancer drug Xtandi and rare-disease drug Vyndaquel.

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