Close menu

December 5th, 2022 | 12:43 CET

Attention biotech stocks: Bayer, BioNTech, Defence Therapeutics and Morphosys - These stocks look good!

  • Biotechnology
  • Cancer
  • research
Photo credits:

After months of selling off, they are back: biotech stocks! A strong turn on the NASDAQ quickly flushed the beaten-up stocks back to the top of the hit lists. With COVID out of the spotlight, companies are returning to their long-term research lines. These have been heavily focused on cancer in recent years, and now there is even groundbreaking news on metastasis. BioNTech has thus already gained more than 40% since the October low. Morphosys, on the other hand, lost another 40% after an Alzheimer's study failed to deliver valuable results. It is worth taking another look at the sector.

time to read: 5 minutes | Author: André Will-Laudien

Table of contents:

    David Elsley, CEO, Cardiol Therapeutics Inc.
    "[...] As a company dedicated to developing treatments for rare heart diseases, we see this as an opportune moment to contribute to the fight against heart disease and make meaningful strides in improving heart health worldwide. [...]" David Elsley, CEO, Cardiol Therapeutics Inc.

    Full interview


    Cancer researchers get on track of metastasis, Bayer receives fast-track approval

    More than four million people in Germany are living with a cancer diagnosis, and the number is rising. Some can be cured, yet malignant tissue neoplasms still puzzle physicians. One of the biggest mysteries to date: Why do metastases often form only after a tumor has already been removed? In a news release, researchers at the German Cancer Research Center at the Medical Faculty in Mannheim provide study results that should provide evidence as to why cancer metastases form even though a tumor has been removed. According to these findings, the primary tumor produces messenger substances that suppress the growth of metastases. If it is removed, this also stops the production of these messenger substances. That makes the growth of offshoots from the original tumor more likely. The messenger ANGPLT4 was one of the molecules most strongly correlated with progressive tumor growth. It is said to inhibit the formation of metastases.

    On Monday, Bayer announced that the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency will immediately approve "Nubeqa" in combination with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) and the chemotherapy "docetaxel," having already fast-tracked the drug for metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC). The accelerated approval comes as part of a regulatory program called Project Orbis, an international collaboration between drug regulatory agencies in countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia. Nubeqa, which Bayer developed with Finnish pharmaceutical company Orion Corporation, performed well in 2022, nearly doubling sales to EUR 127 million in the third quarter. Shortly after this sales increase, Nubeqa scored another success on its way to becoming a blockbuster. By expanding the reach of its future blockbuster in prostate cancer, Nubeqa could generate peak sales of between one and three billion euros, according to Bayer. Bayer shares have weathered the glyphosate controversy well and continue to trend upward. At EUR 54.80, the 2023 P/E ratio is only 6.8, with a payout of 4.4%.

    Research is progressing. Soon, vaccines for certain cancers will be available. Source:

    Defence Therapeutics - With a new vaccine against cervical cancer

    Canadian biotech specialist Defence Therapeutics (DTC) has developed its ACCUMTM platform, a patented technology that holds great hope in current cancer research. The combination of mRNA technology with modern methods of delivery to affected cells is a real advance within recent research. It stemmed from the fight against the COVID pandemic, which steered many biotech companies in a new direction. The valuable knowledge can now be used against the great enemy "cancer". There is progress to report in Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) studies on the vaccine candidate AccuVAC-PT007, which was developed specifically for use against cervical cancer. GLP studies in rodents already demonstrate comprehensive safety and tolerability with no evidence of complications. Cervical cancer typically occurs when epithelial cells of the cervix become infected with human papillomavirus (HPV), one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases.

    Currently, targeted vaccination against HPV can protect against cervical cancer. However, commercially available vaccines are not designed to protect against all HPV subtypes, and vaccines on the market cannot be used to treat pre-existing cervical cancer. Defence aims to close this "gap" with its protein-based vaccine AccuVAC-PT007, which contains a single oncoprotein (E7). This vaccine can provide not only prophylactic protection against HPV but also represents the only experimental vaccine capable of curing existing cervical cancer when combined with immune checkpoint inhibitors. Preclinical studies in rodents demonstrated that co-administration of AccuVAC-PT007 with multiple immune checkpoint inhibitors (PD-1, CTLA4 or CD47 antibodies) resulted in effective control of tumor growth.

    The successful completion of the GLP trials demonstrates Defence Therapeutics' commitment to the efficient development of vaccines to eradicate tumors. A partner can now be sought for a Phase I clinical trial. In addition to cervical cancer, HPV can also cause cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis or anus. Cervical cancer has a high mortality rate, which can be reduced through diagnosis and prevention. A report by 360ResearchReports predicted that the global cervical cancer treatment market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.8% by 2027, reaching a value of USD 11 billion. With its multiple fields of application, the DTC share should come more into the focus of investors, as its successes are tangible and its market capitalization is only about EUR 52 million.

    Director Dr Moutih Rafei will answer questions from investors on December 7, 2022, at 15:00 CET on the occasion of the 5th IIF - International Investment Forum. Participation in the virtual event is free of charge. Click here to register.

    MorphoSys and BioNTech - Analysts are divided

    Opinions are currently far apart on two biotech stocks, Morphosys and BioNTech. Morphosys had published a botched series of studies with Roche on Alzheimer's disease at the end of November. The share price took a massive dive within 24 hours, falling by 40%. At the last Equity Forum in Frankfurt, CFO Sung Lee did not mention this event in the presentation. That made it clear that the focus for Morphosys is on the clinical trials for Pelebrasib and the revenues from Monjuvi. Morphosys also has a broad mid to late-stage development pipeline focused on hematology and oncology. With about EUR 1 billion in cash and cash equivalents, the Company is well secured into 2024 before new funding is needed again. Analysts are split, with expected price targets ranging from EUR 13 to 65 but likely to be heavily revised, with the midpoint currently at EUR 31.20. With a current price of EUR 15.65, this would be a smooth doubler.

    Meanwhile, the mood is better for BioNTech. Four analyst firms are consistently positive, with a median price target of EUR 197. Expected sales for 2022 are still at a high of EUR 16.6 billion, but next year they are expected to decline to EUR 9.1 billion. A major unknown, however, is likely to be the strength of sales of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19, as most countries have declared the pandemic over and are only ordering in significantly reduced batches. Not so in the Federal Republic of Germany, where eight additional vaccine doses have been ordered for each citizen. This keeps sales at BioNTech and Moderna high, and profits will likely follow suit. Important for BioNTech is the quality of the pipeline, which should generate new sales in subsequent years. With almost EUR 20 billion in cash on hand, research can be done very well. The Mainz-based company should remain on the watch list for potential surprises.

    The stock market is probably past the worst, but the biotech sector always "settles" quickly. Morphsys took another huge tumble, and Bayer and BioNTech are already back on the upside. Defence Therapeutics continues to deliver, but the share price is still dormant. This may change at some point ad hoc. Keep a balanced spread across the entire sector.

    Conflict of interest

    Pursuant to §85 of the German Securities Trading Act (WpHG), we point out that Apaton Finance GmbH as well as partners, authors or employees of Apaton Finance GmbH (hereinafter referred to as "Relevant Persons") may hold shares or other financial instruments of the aforementioned companies in the future or may bet on rising or falling prices and thus a conflict of interest may arise in the future. The Relevant Persons reserve the right to buy or sell shares or other financial instruments of the Company at any time (hereinafter each a "Transaction"). Transactions may, under certain circumstances, influence the respective price of the shares or other financial instruments of the Company.

    In addition, Apaton Finance GmbH is active in the context of the preparation and publication of the reporting in paid contractual relationships.

    For this reason, there is a concrete conflict of interest.

    The above information on existing conflicts of interest applies to all types and forms of publication used by Apaton Finance GmbH for publications on companies.

    Risk notice

    Apaton Finance GmbH offers editors, agencies and companies the opportunity to publish commentaries, interviews, summaries, news and the like on These contents are exclusively for the information of the readers and do not represent any call to action or recommendations, neither explicitly nor implicitly they are to be understood as an assurance of possible price developments. The contents do not replace individual expert investment advice and do not constitute an offer to sell the discussed share(s) or other financial instruments, nor an invitation to buy or sell such.

    The content is expressly not a financial analysis, but a journalistic or advertising text. Readers or users who make investment decisions or carry out transactions on the basis of the information provided here do so entirely at their own risk. No contractual relationship is established between Apaton Finance GmbH and its readers or the users of its offers, as our information only refers to the company and not to the investment decision of the reader or user.

    The acquisition of financial instruments involves high risks, which can lead to the total loss of the invested capital. The information published by Apaton Finance GmbH and its authors is based on careful research. Nevertheless, no liability is assumed for financial losses or a content-related guarantee for the topicality, correctness, appropriateness and completeness of the content provided here. Please also note our Terms of use.

    Der Autor

    André Will-Laudien

    Born in Munich, he first studied economics and graduated in business administration at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in 1995. As he was involved with the stock market at a very early stage, he now has more than 30 years of experience in the capital markets.

    About the author

    Related comments:

    Commented by Fabian Lorenz on May 16th, 2024 | 08:00 CEST

    Share price shock at Siemens Energy! What are BioNTech and Cardiol Therapeutics doing?

    • Biotechnology
    • Pharma
    • renewableenergies

    The Siemens Energy share has been one of the surprises of recent months. It has more than doubled since the beginning of the year. Is a crash now imminent? Yes, if you believe Bernstein. Their analysts are shocking us with a horror price target. The Cardiol Therapeutics share performed even better than Siemens Energy in 2024. Despite the 150% rally, analysts see upside potential for the cardiovascular disease specialist. Things will get really exciting at the beginning of June when new study results are due. BioNTech, on the other hand, is currently failing to convince analysts. Reactions to the latest quarterly figures were modest.


    Commented by Stefan Feulner on May 14th, 2024 | 07:30 CEST

    Bayer, Defence Therapeutics, Novavax - Major events

    • Biotechnology
    • Pharma

    The biotechnology sector is still on the move and is currently characterized by a high degree of volatility. For instance, BioNTech, a former star during the pandemic, reported a net loss of EUR 315 million in the first quarter. The Mainz-based biotech now wants to focus more on the development of its cancer drugs due to the slump in demand for COVID-19 vaccines. However, for years, innovative, undiscovered companies have existed in this billion-dollar market that could, with their technologies, become the new high-flyers in the biotech industry.


    Commented by André Will-Laudien on May 9th, 2024 | 07:00 CEST

    Biotech and pharma stocks finally follow suit! Novo Nordisk, Bayer, BioNTech, Vidac Pharma and Evotec on the buy list

    • Biotechnology
    • Pharma

    Things looked very different at the beginning of the year. After a brilliant rally in the Nasdaq Biotech Index at the end of last year, investors thought the upswing could continue in 2024. So far, this hope has not been confirmed. The main focus for the industry is the refinancing conditions. These have gradually deteriorated, as stubborn inflation is keeping central bank interest rates high. And judging by the wording of central bankers, the next interest rate cut does not seem to be penciled in yet. However, if it happens in the summer, things will likely move quickly for the life sciences sector. Then a quick sector rotation is the order of the day! Here is our buy list for the upcoming event.