Moderna and BioNTech stocks are surging amid reports of FDA vaccine-approval progress

Jason Rodriguez, right, a University of Florida Pharmacy student, gives Camila Gutierrez, 21, a junior at Florida International University from Bolivia, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation Center in Jackson Memorial hospital, Thursday, April 15, 2021, in Miami.

BioNTech surged on Wednesday as reports emerged that the US Food and Drug Administration was poised to give full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine within a month. Moderna, meanwhile, extended a two-day rally ahead of earnings and as concerns over the COVID-19 Detla variant increase.

BioNTech, a Nasdaq-listed German company, jumped as much as 19% to $417.22, while Moderna extended its two-day rise to 23%, hitting an intraday high of $427. After reaching all-time highs on Wednesday, both stocks gave up a bit of ground but remained elevated.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the FDA was aiming to greenlight the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine “by the start of next month.” The vaccine had previously been authorized for emergency use, and full approval could open the door to a spate of vaccine mandates from companies and governments wary of the “emergency” distinction.

On Wednesday, BioNTech announced it had finished acquiring a new cell therapy technology and the corresponding manufacturing plant from Kite, a biopharma firm owned by Gilead Sciences.

Moderna has climbed in recent weeks as the resurgent Delta variant has captured headlines. As the Delta variant has ramped up, a report from Vanda Research on Wednesday showed trading volume in Moderna and Pfizer being driven by retail investors, with $180 million in retail cash flowing into the two companies over the last 10 days.

But Pfizer shares were mostly flat on Wednesday, following a double-digit run-up in the past month.

Moderna was trading at $416.43 as of 1:11 p.m. ET, up 7.74%. BioNTech was trading at $405.91, up 15.38%