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Pfizer’s PAXLOVID Study Reveals Positive Results; Shares Jump

Shares of Pfizer Inc. (PFE) rose 10.86% to close at $48.61 on Friday after the biopharmaceutical company revealed the results of the Phase 2/3 EPIC-HR (Evaluation of Protease Inhibition for COVID-19 in High-Risk Patients) study of PAXLOVID, an investigational novel COVID-19 oral antiviral candidate. 

The interim analysis showed that as compared to placebo, PAXLOVID reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 89% in non-hospitalized high-risk adults with COVID-19. 

As recommended by the Independent Data Monitoring Committee and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) views, Pfizer will cease further enrollment into this study. Further, the company plans to submit the data to the U.S. FDA for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in the near term. If approved or authorized, PAXLOVID would be the first-of-its-kind oral antiviral designed SARS-CoV-2-3CL protease inhibitor. 

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The CSO of Pfizer, Mikael Dolsten, said, “Today’s news is a real game-changer in the global efforts to halt the devastation of this pandemic. These data suggest that our oral antiviral candidate, if approved or authorized by regulatory authorities, has the potential to save patients’ lives, reduce the severity of COVID-19 infections, and eliminate up to nine out of ten hospitalizations.” (See Pfizer stock charts on TipRanks) 

Analysts Recommendation 

Following the development, Mizuho Securities analyst Vamil Divan reiterated a Hold rating and a price target of $44 (9.5% downside potential) on the stock. 

Divan believes that the vast majority of people who are willing and able to get vaccinated will still get vaccinated. He said, “The oral treatments will be an important option for patients who are either unvaccinated or vaccinated and looking to reduce their risk of severe illness, especially if they are at high risk for severe illness.” 

Overall, the stock has a Hold consensus rating based on 9 Holds versus 2 Buys. The average Pfizer price target of $45.82 implies 5.74% downside potential from current levels. Shares have increased 30.9% over the past year. 

Risk Analysis 

According to the new TipRanks’ Risk Factors tool, the Pfizer stock is at risk mainly from three factors: Tech and Innovation, Ability to Sell and Macro & Political, which contribute 25%, 25%, and 17%, respectively, to the total 24 risks identified for the stock. 

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