Pfizer leaps 15% on news that its COVID-19 vaccine is over 90% effective in preventing illness

vaccine trial

Pfizer stock leapt 8% in early trading on Monday after the drugmaker announced that its experimental COVID-19 vaccine succeeded in late-stage trials.

The US pharma firm said its vaccine, developed with a German biotech partner, BioNTech, was over 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 infection. BioNTech’s shares soared 26%.

Pfizer’s stock jumped as much as 16% in pre-market trading, to $41.58 a share, up from $36.40 at Friday’s close.

“Today is a great day for science and humanity,” Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19.”

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Pfizer said it would apply to the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency-use authorization — a step that would allow it to distribute the vaccine shot more widely. The approval request is contingent on additional safety data, which the company won’t have until later in November.

Pfizer and BioNTech are the first drugmakers to post successful results from crucial trials of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The broader Euro Stoxx 50 jumped 6% to its best day since March after the companies said they expected to produce up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.

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