Shares of the coronavirus vaccine maker BioNTech (NASDAQ: BNTX) are up by over 7.2% as of 11:28 a.m. ET on Monday. The rise follows the company's report on June 25 that its updated jab candidate elicits a strong immune response against the omicron BA.1 variant when used as a booster, per its ongoing clinical trial in phase 2/3. Importantly, it also stated that preliminary preclinical research suggests the candidate can elicit an immune response against the BA.4 and BA.5 viral lineages, which are currently the dominant ones in circulation.
Getting an updated vaccine out the door to counter new viral variants in a timeline that's fast enough to matter has been a challenge for BioNTech and collaborator Pfizer. Plans to produce a booster shot for the beta and delta variants never panned out.
If the plan succeeds this time around, the product will have a major competitive advantage, as it'll be more effective than the others available.
BioNTech and Pfizer will meet with regulators from the Food and Drug Administration's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee on June 28. The committee will hear presentations from the companies and consider whether it makes sense to update their coronavirus vaccines. Then, the committee will vote on which strains should be included in booster doses.
But don't expect the vote to be a major boon for BioNTech stock if regulators give the thumbs-up; the decision isn't binding, and it probably wouldn't lead to significantly higher sales revenue even if it were. In contrast, a negative vote might make it harder for the company to make shots that are effective, which would be bad news for shareholders.
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Alex Carchidi has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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