For key manufacturers, numbers are beginning to reflect the potential financial impact of vaccine development. Hopeful investors have surged the price of Moderna, whose press releases are dominating the news on vaccine development in the US. Recently, the company announced their vaccine was entering the second phase of testing.
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All eyes are on the US and China and their companies working on the vaccine in various stages.
Last Friday, Dynavax Technologies soared by 26.4%. The American company agreed back in April to work with Chinese Sinovac Ltd to jointly develop a vaccine for COVID-19.
“As soon as we get out of the COVID-19 thing, China will be a huge driver of volatility for markets," commented Shawn Cruz, manager of trader strategy at TD Ameritrade. “If you think about how deep those supply chain relationships are...if China decides to make things more difficult for us they can do it. It’s a known-unknown, and I think that’s why it drives so much volatility in markets.”
Last Tuesday, Novavax announced they had dosed their first round of participants with the COVID-19 vaccine. Shortly thereafter, the stock jumped by 4.5%.
Pharmaceutical giant Merck joined the ranks announcing they were starting their own track for vaccine development, pushing their stock price up by 1.2%. Merck is also acquiring the private firm Themis, teaming up with Ridgeback Bio for antiviral COVID-19 treatments in the form of an oral treatment of which Merck will hold the exclusive rights to produce.
Merck also announced a partnership with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI). In the latter partnership, Merck is aiming to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
Vaccine makers Inovio Pharmaceuticals and Translate Bio also saw increases by 2.7-2.8%.
Meanwhile, US-listed Chinese stocks saw significant volatility in the oscillating tension between the US and Chinese under the Trump administration.