Pfizer Stock (PFE): Why The Price Increased Today

By Amit Chowdhry ● Dec 16, 2021
  • The stock price of Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) increased by over 3% during intraday trading today. This is why it happened.

The stock price of Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) increased by over 3% during intraday trading today. Investors appear to be responding to a couple of catalysts today.

According to a Bloomberg report, Pfizer is expected to dominate the $20 billion market for COVID pills next year. It is estimated that Pfizer will hit about $17 billion in sales from the experimental therapy Paxlovid in 2022, according to Airfinity Ltd. And Merck’s molnupiravir will hit about $2.5 billion in revenue next year.

Pfizer and Merck agreed to allow generic manufacturers to make inexpensive versions of their pills for low- and middle-income countries. And Pfizer has a goal of delivering its oral antiviral therapy to patients in the most need as soon as possible at an affordable price, according to Sharon Castillo in a statement sent to Bloomberg.

Paxlovid — which was developed with BioNTech SE — is known as the best-selling pharmaceutical product of all time in a given year and it is expected to bring in over $36 billion in sales this year and at least another $29 billion next year.

“Antiviral pills will be easier to produce and distribute, and faceless hesitancy than vaccines,” explained Airfinity analyst Arsalan Azad. “It is likely we will see another race to secure limited supply in 2022.”

EMA Issues Advice For Potential Early Use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 Oral Antiviral Candidate

Pfizer announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) issued advice on the use of PAXLOVID (nirmatrelvir [PF-07321332] tablets and ritonavir tablets), stating that PAXLOVID can be used to treat adults with COVID-19 who do not require supplemental oxygen and who are at increased risk of progressing to severe disease. And the CHMP also recommends that PAXLOVID should be administered as soon as possible after a diagnosis of COVID-19 and within 5 days of the start of symptoms. 

The EMA issued this advice under Article 5(3) of Regulation 726/2004 to support authorities of European Union (EU) Member States who may decide to allow the supply and use of PAXLOVID, for example in emergency use settings, prior to EU conditional marketing authorization. PAXLOVID is currently not authorized for use in the EU.

The CHMP based their advice on positive results from the Phase 2/3 EPIC-HR (Evaluation of Protease Inhibition for COVID-19 in High-Risk Patients) interim analysis — which enrolled non-hospitalized adults with confirmed COVID-19 who are at increased risk of progressing to severe illness. And the data demonstrated an 89% reduction in risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization or death from any cause in patients treated with PAXLOVID compared to placebo within three days of symptom onset, with no deaths in the treatment group. 

Similar results were seen with those treated within 5 days of symptom onset. And treatment-emergent adverse events were comparable between PAXLOVID (19%) and placebo (21%), most of which were mild in intensity. Pfizer had recently announced that results from the final analysis of the primary endpoint from all patients enrolled in EPIC-HR were consistent with the interim analysis, confirming robust efficacy and a similar safety profile.

Pfizer also initiated rolling submission with the EMA for potential EU conditional marketing authorization of PAXLOVID. And if authorized, PAXLOVID could be prescribed as an at-home treatment to high-risk patients at the first sign of infection, potentially helping patients avoid severe illness which can lead to hospitalization and death. PAXLOVID is also being studied in adults at standard risk of progressing to severe illness, as well as in adults who have been exposed to the virus through household contacts.

KEY QUOTE:

“The CHMP’s advice signifies the strength of our data for PAXLOVID in the treatment of high-risk adults diagnosed with COVID-19. COVID-19 continues to take lives at an unprecedented pace globally and exacts a devastating toll on health care systems. If authorized, PAXLOVID has the potential to help save lives and reduce hospitalizations. We look forward to working with the EMA and other regulatory agencies worldwide to bring this potential treatment to patients as quickly as possible.”

— Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer

Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes. Before making any investment, you should do your own analysis.