We’ve now heard interim results for two of the leading coronavirus vaccine candidates. Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) announced initial data for their experimental COVID-19 vaccine BNT162b2 on Nov. 9, 2020. Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) followed up a week later with interim results for its coronavirus vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on Nov. 16, Healthcare and Cannabis Bureau Chief Corinne Cardina and Fool.com writer Keith Speights discuss how Pfizer’s and Moderna’s results compare.
Corinne Cardina: I’d like to turn to last week’s news. Just do a little bit of a comparison. How does this data in this interim look compare to what Pfizer and BioNTech put forth last week?
Keith Speights: Sure, the results themselves are very similar. Pfizer and BioNTech announced, actually, they said 90% or greater efficacy, and Moderna today announced 94.5% efficacy. Very similar. When the final data comes out, it could be that one of those vaccines are a little better than the other, but they’re so close that the differences really aren’t all that meaningful.
The one thing that I thought stuck out to me with Moderna’s announcement today was that they didn’t see any severe COVID-19 cases develop in the patients, or participants, who received their vaccine. That’s very encouraging because it could be based on this very early result. It could be that their vaccine is very effective at preventing severe cases of COVID-19. If that’s the case, then that’s obviously very good news for Americans and people across the world.
The other thing that really wasn’t as much in their results as such that I think is interesting, is that Moderna has basically, their approach is similar to Pfizer’s and BioNTech’s. They both use messenger RNA vaccines. Messenger RNA can disintegrate very quickly, and it requires ultra-cold storage. I’m sure we’ll talk about that in a few minutes, but Moderna has some advantages that they’ve mentioned that could work. It could be good news for them if the vaccine does make it to market.