Moderna and BioNTech stocks are surging amid reports of FDA vaccine-approval progress

Vaccine
Jason Rodriguez, right, a University of Florida Pharmacy student, gives Camila Gutierrez, 21, a junior at Florida International University from Bolivia, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation Center in Jackson Memorial hospital, Thursday, April 15, 2021, in Miami. AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

BioNTech surged on Wednesday as reports emerged that the US Food and Drug Administration was poised to give full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine within a month. Moderna, meanwhile, extended a two-day rally ahead of earnings and as concerns over the COVID-19 Detla variant increase.

BioNTech, a Nasdaq-listed German company, jumped as much as 19% to $US417.22 ($AU563), while Moderna extended its two-day rise to 23%, hitting an intraday high of $US427 ($AU577). After reaching all-time highs on Wednesday, both stocks gave up a bit of ground but remained elevated.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the FDA was aiming to greenlight the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine “by the start of next month.” The vaccine had previously been authorized for emergency use, and full approval could open the door to a spate of vaccine mandates from companies and governments wary of the “emergency” distinction.

On Wednesday, BioNTech announced it had finished acquiring a new cell therapy technology and the corresponding manufacturing plant from Kite, a biopharma firm owned by Gilead Sciences.

Moderna has climbed in recent weeks as the resurgent Delta variant has captured headlines. As the Delta variant has ramped up, a report from Vanda Research on Wednesday showed trading volume in Moderna and Pfizer being driven by retail investors, with $US180 ($AU243) million in retail cash flowing into the two companies over the last 10 days.

But Pfizer shares were mostly flat on Wednesday, following a double-digit run-up in the past month.

Moderna was trading at $US416.43 ($AU562) as of 1:11 p.m. ET, up 7.74%. BioNTech was trading at $US405.91 ($AU548), up 15.38%