The Covid-19 valuation derby

Last week Evaluate Vantage looked at the biggest one-day share price moves caused by Covid-19-related activities. An examination of the biggest one-day gainers in terms of market cap, using EvaluatePharma’s EventAnalyzer, reveals a similarly startling picture. Some of these gigantic moves occurred for sensible reasons: it is hard to argue with the importance of the superb pivotal trial data on Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine, for instance. Others, such as Gilead’s decision to start trials of remdesivir resulting in a $5.8bn valuation bump, and Regeneron adding $4.2bn simply because its antibody doublet was used to treat a hospitalised Donald Trump, are rather more preposterous. It is notable that the market cap of these last two companies subsequently dropped by $14bn apiece. It should also be mentioned that two of the movers in the table below, Abcellera and Curevac, recorded much bigger one-day market cap rises – of $10.3bn and $6.6bn respectively – on their first days as public companies. While these gains cannot be specifically attributed to Covid-19, enthusiasm for companies active in this space will certainly have played a part. 

The biggest one-day market cap moves prompted by Covid-19 announcements
Company  Event  MC rise ($bn) Resulting MC ($bn) Current MC ($bn)
Moderna Nov 30, 2020: topline data from phase III Cove study show mRNA-1273 is 94% effective in preventing Covid-19 10.2 60.4 63.0
Biontech Mar 17, 2020: company to collaborate with Pfizer on the Covid-19 vaccine candidate BNT162* 6.0 15.1 27.6
Gilead Sciences Feb 26, 2020: company starts two phase III studies of its antiviral remdesivir for Covid-19 5.8 94.5 80.4
Novavax Jan 28, 2021 [post market]: topline data from UK phase III study show NVX-CoV2373 is 89.3% effective in preventing Covid-19 5.5 14.1 15.6
Moderna May 18, 2020: data from phase I study show mRNA-1273 produced neutralising antibodies in all eight initial participants 4.9 29.7 63.0
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Oct 2, 2020 [post market]: company's Covid-19 antibody REGN-COV2 is used to treat then-President Donald Trump 4.2 63.3 49.3
Curevac Nov 16, 2020: European Commission to buy up to 450 million doses of the company's Covid-19 vaccine CVnCoV 1.9 15.2 19.2
Vir Biotechnology Feb 26, 2020: shares rise for a second day after company signs deal with Wuxi Biologics to develop antibodies to treat Covid-19* 1.5 3.8 8.8
Abcellera Biologics Jan 28, 2021: Company's partner Lilly will study its antibody bamlanivimab in combination with VIR-7831 in Covid-19 1.2 13.7 10.7
Mesoblast Apr 23, 2020 [post market]: company's stem cell therapy remestemcel-L shows 83% survival in ventilator-dependent Covid-19 patients 1.0 1.7 1.2
*Note: Biontech added a further $5.8bn in market cap a day later. Vir added $304m the previous day. Analysis excludes big pharma. Source: EvaluatePharma & company releases.

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