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June 7th, 2021 | 09:37 CEST

Bayer, Defence Therapeutics, MorphoSys - A paradigm shift in biotechnology

  • Biotechnology
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The search for a vaccine against the Coronavirus brought biotechnology back into the focus of investors last year. Companies such as BioNTech or CureVac were able to multiply in this regard. In 2020, the biotech sector in Germany raised a record sum of EUR 3 billion, and the trend is rising sharply. The fight against incurable diseases and the development of important innovations such as vaccines, cancer therapies, or sustainable products lift the segment into higher realms and offer attractive investment opportunities.

time to read: 4 minutes | Author: Stefan Feulner
ISIN: DE000BAY0017 , CA24463V1013 , DE0006632003

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


    First mover in the fight against cancer

    Defence Therapeutics' management sees itself as Canada's scientific pioneer, developing improved ways to treat future generations through biopharmaceutical innovation. With two wholly-owned promising technologies, this plan may well become a reality in the long term. ADC drug development serves as the foundation. Antibody-drug conjugates promise great potential in cancer therapy because they can specifically destroy cancer cells. The therapeutic window of ADCs, i.e. the ratio of efficacy to safety, compares favorably with other forms of treatment. Because the technology is highly specific, acting directly on the cancer cell, side effects can be reduced.

    Platform technology with upside potential

    ACCUM™ technology, the new generation platform technology, can be combined with approved antibody-drug conjugate (ADC)-based drugs. The ACCUM™ method of accurately delivering ADCs into cells has increased cell penetration 10-fold over other approved ADC solutions.

    Building on the ACCUM™ platform and in collaboration with the University of Montréal's academic laboratory, Defence Therapeutics is focusing its second segment on developing vaccines against infectious diseases and viruses, using the ACCUM™ platform as a basis for targeted drug delivery and effective treatments. As a result, enormous economies of scale are expected in the future. Development priorities include a vaccine against COVID-19 and a vaccine against cancer.

    Recently, initial successes were achieved in preclinical studies with mice. These were treated with the vaccine AccuVAC-D001 developed by Defence Therapeutics. In the end, 70% of the cases showed a successful cure with already established solid tumors. While there is still a long way to go for regulatory approval, the outstanding results show how this strategy can be successfully adapted to universal cell vaccines.

    The scalable platform technology is innovative and holds long-term promise. One thing to keep in mind, however, as with any biotechnology company, is that there is still a tremendous risk as the Company moves through each phase. However, at EUR 120 million market capitalization, Defence Therapeutics is not too expensive at the current stage of development. The stock is traded in Toronto and Frankfurt.

    Decision at Bayer

    The glyphosate affair continues to put pressure on the Bayer share price. After the competent district court in San Francisco last week rejected a settlement proposal by Bayer in dealing with future lawsuits as "simply unreasonable," the Leverkusen-based Company's stock tipped and ended the week with a loss of 10% at its peak. The settlement would have been worth USD 2 billion to the pharmaceutical giant. This lawsuit was about the drug "Roundup," which can be used against weeds, but the glyphosate could also trigger possible cancer. As a result of the renewed defeat in court, management intends to withdraw from the settlement proceedings and review further sales of the product to private customers in the USA. A five-point plan for dealing with future glyphosate lawsuits was also outlined.

    To be prepared for the future, Bayer is continuing to build its oncology business. With the acquisition of US radiotherapy specialist Noria Therapeutics and its subsidiary PSMA, the DAX-listed Company is strengthening its portfolio in applications against prostate cancer. The US company specializes in targeted alpha therapeutics in the field of radiation medicine. The acquisition gives Bayer exclusive rights to a differentiated alpha radionuclide therapy for prostate cancer, the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. Xofigo, a targeted alpha therapy already part of Bayer's oncology portfolio and a proprietary drug platform with thorium conjugates, is still being developed.

    As a result of the sell-off, the share fell back again to the support area at EUR 52.10 but has been able to hold this successfully. The 200-day line is currently at EUR 51.46. From a trading perspective, a buy at the current level would make sense. The downward trend formed since June 2017 is getting closer and closer in the area around EUR 56.50. If sustainably overcome, a trend reversal in favor of the bulls could set in.

    Takeover fever

    The stock market week for the biopharmaceutical Company MorphoSys was similar to that of Bayer. Here, too, it went south with a crash after an announcement in the middle of the week. The Company spooked its investors with the announcement of the billion-euro acquisition of Constellation Pharmaceuticals. In total, the Planegg-based Company wants to put USD 1.7 billion on the table. USD 34 was offered for each Constellation share, a bonus of almost 70% on the previous trading day. Despite positive analyst opinions from Deutsche Bank and Barclays, among others, and a statement from MorphoSys CEO Jean-Paul Kress that this acquisition represents a fundamental transformation, the stock plummeted more than 17% to a new four-year low of EUR 60.30.

    Possible "paradigm shift"

    Positive news on the drug Tafasitamab then provided some relief at the end of the week. In collaboration with Incyte, the Company presented further data from the three-year follow-up period of the ongoing Phase 2 L-MIND study with the drug. In the clinical trial, Tafasitamab was administered in combination with lenalidomide in adult patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Gilles Salles, Lymphoma Service Chief at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and principal investigator of the L-MIND trial, sees tremendous potential in the results. "The confirmation of positive patient outcomes in the L-MIND trial are encouraging and suggest that this combination therapy may represent a paradigm shift and long-term control of the disease," Salles said.

    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 in the future hold shares or other financial instruments of the mentioned companies or will bet on rising or falling on rising or falling prices and therefore a conflict of interest may arise in the future. conflict of interest may arise in the future. The Relevant Persons reserve the shares or other financial instruments of the company at any time (hereinafter referred to as the company at any time (hereinafter referred to as a "Transaction"). "Transaction"). Transactions may under certain circumstances influence the respective price of the shares or other financial instruments of the of the Company.

    Furthermore, Apaton Finance GmbH reserves the right to enter into future relationships with the company or with third parties in relation to reports on the company. with regard to reports on the company, which are published within the scope of the Apaton Finance GmbH as well as in the social media, on partner sites or in e-mails, on partner sites or in e-mails. The above references to existing conflicts of interest apply apply to all types and forms of publication used by Apaton Finance GmbH uses for publications on companies.

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    Der Autor

    Stefan Feulner

    The native Franconian has more than 20 years of stock exchange experience and a broadly diversified network.
    He is passionate about analyzing a wide variety of business models and investigating new trends.

    About the author

    Related comments:

    Commented by Juliane Zielonka on April 12th, 2024 | 07:00 CEST

    AI in healthcare with Evotec, Defence Therapeutics, Bayer: Revolutionary advances and medical breakthroughs

    • Biotechnology
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    Artificial intelligence (AI) is gaining momentum in the healthcare sector. AI-based systems can use medical databases to save valuable time in research, enabling companies like Defence Therapeutics to go to market faster than others. In oncology research, the Canadian company has just achieved a breakthrough that gives hope to many cancer patients. AI-assisted diagnoses allow diseases to be detected earlier and treated more effectively, leading to improved quality of life for patients. Precision medicine in strong partnership networks is Evotec's focus. The share is particularly popular with hedge fund managers. Analyzing medical images and data in real-time and detecting even the smallest deviations or anomalies is the top priority for Bayer AG in collaboration with Google Cloud. Which companies are convincing investors the most?


    Commented by Fabian Lorenz on April 10th, 2024 | 07:00 CEST

    BASF and Cardiol Therapeutics recommended to buy! TUI share with momentum!

    • Biotechnology
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    BASF shares have gained over 30% within six months. But is the rally in BASF shares slowly running out of steam? The fact that the share did not rise sharply yesterday despite a significant price target increase suggests this is the case. Many experts see little potential for further price increases. The situation is different for the biotech company Cardiol Therapeutics. The analysts at Canaccord believe that the shares of the specialist in cardiovascular diseases could perform by around 200%. Financing is secured until 2026, and important study data is due in the current quarter. The TUI share has been on a roll for several months now. Will the share continue to rise with the increase in temperatures? Management is certainly optimistic about the future.


    Commented by André Will-Laudien on April 10th, 2024 | 06:45 CEST

    Attention: Biotech takeovers, after MorphoSys, now Bayer, Vidac Pharma, BioNTech and Pfizer are on the radar

    • Pharma
    • Biotechnology
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    Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been little movement in the biotech sector. However, after a challenging year in 2023, the sector was at least able to start the new year on a solid footing. The surprising takeover of MorphoSys recently got hearts beating again, as Novartis put a whopping EUR 2.7 billion on the table for the cancer specialist from Munich. Only months before, MorphoSys had been traded on the stock exchange at just EUR 700 million. The special market situation in this case was also characterized by the high short ratio, which led to an exorbitant rise in the share price of almost 400% in the final phase. Speculative investors are now keeping a wary eye on potential takeover candidates as the sector is once again attracting considerable attention. We are taking a closer look and searching for the next pearl.