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Coronavirus stocks: Businesses working on COVID-19 cures and treatments

Should your strategy involve the biotechs and health companies that are working toward a cure?

Thanks to massive government efforts worldwide, we now have several approved vaccines. Aside from protecting your health, a coronavirus vaccine can help you earn some money if you invest in the right company.

Do any companies have a vaccine ready?

As of May 2021, there are eight either fully approved vaccines or approved for emergency use by the WHO or governments worldwide. These vaccines are made by the companies:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Moderna
  • Gamaleya
  • Oxford-AstraZeneca
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Sinopharm
  • Sinovac

Can I invest in COVID-19 vaccine stocks?

Yes. As long as the company developing the vaccine is a publicly-traded entity, investors can back as many COVID-19 vaccine candidates as they like.

As far as stock performance goes, many have seen staggering success. Maryland-based firm NovaVax has seen its stock price rise more than 7,000% from January 2020, while Moderna has risen over 700%.

Listed companies with approved vaccines or with Phase 3 trials


1. AstraZeneca (NASDAQ: AZN)

AstraZeneca is a British-Swedish pharmaceutical company headquartered in Cambridge, England. It partnered with Oxford University to create the Vaxzevria vaccine, which was first authorized for emergency use in the UK and Argentina in December 2020.

  • YTD performance (to May 2021): 6.51%
  • Market capitalization: $176,767,156,224
  • Study start date: August 17, 2020
  • First emergency authorization by a country: December 30, 2020
  • Status: Emergency authorization by the WHO

Graph of the company’s performance

2. Sinovac Biotech Ltd (NASDAQ: SVA)

Sinovac Biotech is a Chinese biotechnology company headquartered in Beijing. Its vaccine, the CoronaVac, was given a conditional approval in China in February 2021.

  • YTD performance (to May 2021): N/A
  • Market capitalization: $642,436,736
  • Study start date: July 21, 2020
  • Status: Emergency authorization in more than 30 countries
Graph of the company’s performance

3. Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE)

Pfizer Inc is a US pharmaceutical company. It has partnered with German biotech company BioNTech to create and manufacture a COVID vaccine. Their vaccine is one of the few that have an emergency approval by the FDA, with full approval expected at the end of May 2021.

  • YTD performance (to May 2021): 7.53%
  • Market capitalization: $239,525,150,720
  • Study start date: April 29, 2020
  • Status: Emergency approval by the FDA and WHO

Graph of the company’s performance

4. Sinopharm (HKEX: 1099)

Sinopharm Group is a Chinese pharmaceuticals company currently trialing two vaccine candidates in partnership with the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products and the Beijing Institute of Biological Products. Both vaccines are approved for emergency use in many countries, while only one of the vaccines is approved for emergency use by the WHO.

  • YTD performance (to May 2021): 27.50%
  • Market capitalization: $63,661,461,504
  • Study start date: July 18, 2020
  • Status: Approved for emergency use by the WHO and around 30 countries.
Graph of the company’s performance

5. Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA)

Moderna is a Boston-based biotechnology company. The US government supported the company with almost $1 billion to accelerate the development of a coronavirus vaccine in partnership with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In December 2020, FDA gave the vaccine an emergency use authorization.

  • YTD performance (to May 2021): 34.60%
  • Market capitalization: $138,784,145,408
  • Study start date: July 27, 2020
  • Status: Emergency use by the FDA

Graph of the company’s performance

6. CanSino Biologics (HKEX: 6185)

CanSino Biologics is a Chinese vaccine maker working in partnership with the Academy of Military Medical Sciences. Unlike many other vaccines, this one requires only one shot.

  • YTD performance (to May 2021): 74.6%
  • Market capitalization: $127,313,461,248
  • Study start date: September 15, 2020
  • Status: Full approval in China
Graph of the company’s performance

7. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ)

American pharmaceutical corporation Johnson & Johnson is the parent company of Janssen Vaccines & Prevention. Janssen received an emergency authorization by the FDA in February 2021.

  • YTD performance (to May 2021): 8.59%
  • Market capitalization: $453,418,811,392
  • Status: Emergency approval by the FDA

Graph of the company’s performance
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8. Novavax Inc (NASDAQ: NVAX)

Novavax is a US vaccine development firm headquartered in Maryland. It started Phase 3 human trials in the UK in mid-September. The Chief executive of Novavax expects an FDA approval in May 2021.

  • YTD performance (to May 2021): 24.79%
  • Market capitalization: $13,633,370,112
  • Study start date: July 27, 2020
  • Estimated results date: Spring 2021
  • Status: Phase 3 trials

Graph of the company’s performance
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9. BioNTech (NASDAQ: BNTX)

BioNTech is a German biotechnology company. It has partnered with Chinese pharmaceutical firm Fosun Pharma and US pharmaceutical company Pfizer to trial and manufacture a vaccine candidate.

  • YTD performance (to May 2021): 135.20%
  • Market capitalization: $75,704,754,176
  • Study start date: April 29, 2020
  • Status: Emergency approval by the FDA and WHO

Graph of the company’s performance

10. Fosun Pharma (HKEX: 2196)

Fosun Pharma is a Chinese pharmaceutical firm. It has partnered with German biotech company BioNTech and US pharmaceutical company Pfizer to trial and manufacture a vaccine candidate.

  • YTD performance (to May 2021): 63.30%
  • Market capitalization: $230,886,588,416
  • Study start date: April 29, 2020
  • Status: Emergency approval by the FDA and WHO
Graph of the company’s performance

How to buy COVID-19 stocks

A number of the listed companies working on a COVID-19 cure are from countries outside the US. And most US brokerages only offer access to domestic stock exchanges, like the NYSE and NASDAQ.

That said, some international companies dual-list in the US, like AstraZeneca and Sinovac Biotech. Both can be accessed on the NASDAQ.

But if you’d like to invest in any of the others, be prepared to open an international brokerage account with a platform that offers access to global markets, like Charles Schwab, Fidelity or Interactive Brokers. These brokerages can connect you to overseas exchanges, but consider the platform’s fees and exchange rates before you apply.

Disclaimer: The value of any investment can go up or down depending on news, trends and market conditions. We are not investment advisers, so do your own due diligence to understand the risks before you invest.

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