US drug firm, Pfizer has announced that early data from phase three trials showed its vaccine was more than 90% effective against COVID-19 sparking a surge in the global stock market.
The FTSE 100 and other global stock markets rallied sharply on growing hopes of a coronavirus vaccine with the FTSE 100 jumping by 5.5% thereby adding £82bn to the value of its shares and resulting in its best trading day since March.
The CAC in Paris and Frankfurt’s DAX were also up by almost 8% and 6% respectively while the S&P 500 in New York opened 3.7% higher in reaction to the vaccine developments.
The Nikkei and China’s Shanghai Composite were each up by about 2% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and South Korea’s Kospi each added just over 1% though Asia trading concluded ahead of the vaccine boost.
The update on the Pfizer-BioNTech trial raises hopes that economic damage from the coronavirus crisis can be limited if populations can be widely protected.
Phase 3 of Pfizer’s trial involved 43,538 participants from six countries. They received two doses of either the immunisation or a placebo, with 90% protected from the virus within 28 days of having their shots.
Only 94 people who took part in the trial developed coronavirus and no serious safety concerns were reported, the US pharmaceutical firm said.
Pfizer Chairman and Chief Executive, Dr Albert Bourla recognized that, “today is a great day for science and humanity. 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.
“With today’s news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis.”
Pfizer’a vaccine is one of around twelve worldwide in the final stages of testing, but it is the first to produce any results.
The pharmaceutical company with its German counterpart, BioNTech says it can supply 50 million doses by the end of 2020 and 1.3 billion by the end of 2021.
Pfizer and BioNTech have a $1.95bn contract with the US government to deliver 100 million vaccine doses beginning this year. The UK government has also secured around 30 million doses, enough for 15 million people, in an agreement with the two firms.
The firms have also reached supply agreements with the European Union, Canada and Japan.
US President, Donald Trump tweeted soon after Pfizer’s announcement, “STOCK MARKET UP BIG, VACCINE COMING SOON. REPORT 90% EFFECTIVE. SUCH GREAT NEWS!”
Neil Wilson, chief markets analyst at Markets.com, also said of the rally, “Whilst we are not there yet, news that this vaccine could be highly effective is the best thing markets could hope for.
“Public health officials will remind us there is a long road ahead, and many challenges will be faced along the way, but there is an enormous sense of optimism today.”
Pfizer’s data is yet to be peer-reviewed or published in a medical journal. The pharmaceutical firm has said it would do so once it has results from the entire trial.
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