AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine data fails to impress some experts
AstraZeneca Plc fell from a record high in New York trading after data for the company’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate, though promising, fuelled concerns about whether it can match competitors.
Bernstein analysts led by Ronny Gal said the vaccine, developed in partnership with the University of Oxford, showed early positive data, but the benefits didn’t appear to match the bar set by programs from Pfizer Inc. and BioNtech SE, as well as Moderna Inc. “In the competitive context they fail to impress,” Gal wrote.
Exacerbating concerns, the Lancet medical journal publication came just an hour after Pfizer and BioNtech had announced early positive data from their Covid-19 vaccine trial in Germany, which builds upon promising results from their program earlier this month.
US listed shares of AstraZeneca fell as much as 5.7% -- the biggest intraday decline since March -- bringing the stock’s year-to-date gain to 19%. Moderna, which is among biotech’s hottest stocks, was also down as much as 18% as JPMorgan downgraded its rating to the equivalent of a hold. AstraZeneca data “fail to impress” in a competitive context, “the titers from immunized patients were lower than convalescent patients, whereas BioNtech and Moderna vaccines both elicited IgGs substantially higher than convalescent controls,” said Bernstein, Ronny Gal.