Pfizer shares close higher on Tuesday, company partners with BioNTech over potential COVID-19 vaccine development

Pfizer Inc (PFE) and BioNTech SE said on Tuesday that they had agreed to a letter of intent in relation with the co-development and distribution of a potential mRNA-based coronavirus vaccine against the COVID-19 illness.

A Material Transfer and Collaboration Agreement has been executed by the two companies, which means they are able to begin their cooperation immediately.

Pfizer shares closed higher for the fourth time in the past ten trading sessions in New York on Tuesday. The stock went up 6.53% ($1.97) to $32.15, after touching an intraday high at $32.65, or a price level not seen since March 13th ($32.88).

Shares of Pfizer Inc have retreated 17.94% so far in 2020 compared with a 21.72% loss for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).

In 2019, Pfizer Inc’s stock went down 10.24%, thus, it underperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 28.88% gain.

The partnership is meant to accelerate development of BNT162, BioNTech’s potential first-in-class COVID-19 mRNA vaccine program. The latter will probably enter clinical testing by the end of next month.

Financial and other details in regard to development, manufacturing and commercialization are expected to be finalized over the upcoming few weeks, the companies said.

“We are proud that our ongoing, successful relationship with BioNTech gives our companies the resiliency to mobilize our collective resources with extraordinary speed in the face of this worldwide challenge,” Mikael Dolsten, Chief Scientific Officer and President, Worldwide Research, Development & Medical at Pfizer, said in a press release.

“We believe that by pairing Pfizer’s development, regulatory and commercial capabilities with BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine technology and expertise as one of the industry leaders, we are reinforcing our commitment to do everything we can to combat this escalating pandemic, as quickly as possible,” Dolsten added.

Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation

According to CNN Money, the 12 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding Pfizer Inc’s stock price, have a median target of $41.50, with a high estimate of $53.00 and a low estimate of $36.00. The median estimate represents a 29.08% upside compared to the closing price of $32.15 on March 17th.

The same media also reported that at least 7 out of 14 surveyed investment analysts had rated Pfizer Inc’s stock as “Hold”, while 6 – as “Buy”.

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