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March 13th, 2024 | 06:30 CET

Bayer disappoints, BioNTech share gives hope, and Cardiol Therapeutics with upside potential!

  • Biotechnology
  • Pharma
  • heartdisease
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Analysts were anticipating a more favourable outcome from Bayer's Capital Markets Day. While the spin-off of Aspirin and Co. was expected, and there was also more transparency in the legal disputes, the actual results differed significantly. In some cases, analysts' share price targets plummeted by nearly 50%. In contrast, analysts have renewed their "Buy" recommendation for Cardiol Therapeutics shares. The specialist in cardiovascular diseases is facing exciting weeks and the share could certainly still more than double. There is also movement at BioNTech. In addition to operating figures, there will soon be an update on the drug pipeline. The question remains whether the share can halt its downward trend.

time to read: 3 minutes | Author: Fabian Lorenz

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


    Cardiol Therapeutics: More upside potential

    The rapid upward potential for Cardiol Therapeutics became evident in early February when the biotech stock nearly doubled within three weeks. Since then, it has corrected again and thus offers an exciting entry opportunity. According to First Berlin analysts’ target, the shares of the specialist for cardiovascular diseases could more than double. They rate the stock as a "Buy" with a target price of USD 3.60. Cardiol shares are currently trading at USD 1.40 on the Nasdaq technology exchange. An important factor for biotech companies is that by the end of the third quarter of 2023, Cardiol had cash and cash equivalents of more than CAD 40 million, making it well-financed for the coming years.

    Recently, Cardiol reported that its lead drug candidate, CardiolRx™, designed for the treatment of recurrent pericarditis, received Orphan Drug Designation from the FDA for pericarditis. The decision by the US Food and Drug Administration was based on preclinical data and initial clinical data from the ongoing Phase II MAvERIC-Pilot study. Although the Phase II data have not yet been published, analysts anticipate positive results based on the FDA's decision. Analysts expect the Phase II trial to be published in the second half of April or early May of the current year. Orphan drug status has numerous advantages for Cardiol, ranging from a shorter clinical phase, a more straightforward approval process, to an extended market exclusivity duration. According to statistics from the American Heart Association, around 160,000 patients in the US suffer from pericarditis every year, with 15 – 30% of experiencing a recurrence.

    President and CEO David Elsley recently gave a positive outlook for the current year and Cardiol's prospects. His interesting presentation from the 10th virtual investor conference, IIF, can be viewed here.

    Bayer: Disappointment instead of breakthrough

    Bayer's Capital Markets Day was eagerly awaited. To the surprise of many, the Board announced the postponement of the Company's split. It had been expected that at least the over-the-counter medicines business around Aspirin would be spun off to be sold or floated on the stock market. However, this plan has been put on hold for the time being.

    Bernstein Research, in particular, was disappointed by this. The analysts cut their price target almost from EUR 50 to EUR 27. The rating for the DAX-listed company was reduced from "Outperform" to "Marketperform". For them, the demerger was the main price driver. The analysts at Deutsche Bank also had many question marks after the Capital Markets Day - with regard to the legal disputes and the growth prospects of the Group's individual divisions. The analysts have, therefore, reduced their price target from EUR 34 to EUR 29 and recommend Bayer shares as a "Hold". Barclays considers the Leverkusen-based company's shares to be fairly valued at only EUR 28.

    BioNTech: On the verge of a new upward trend?

    Analysts have not commented on BioNTech for some time. Nevertheless, the share has shown signs of life in recent days. After testing the EUR 80 mark, it quickly rose by 10%. Is this the turning point? Probably not, as there were no concrete reasons for the price jump. However, important dates are on the horizon. The biotech company is set to publish figures in the coming week. BioNTech has also provided an outlook for the upcoming American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in early April. At the conference, the Mainz-based company plans to present clinical study data for selected candidates from their oncology pipeline. The data updates are expected to include investigational compounds from BioNTech's mRNA-based cancer vaccine approaches, as well as innovative approaches for antibody-drug conjugates.

    BioNTech CMO Prof. Dr. Özlem Türeci stated: "The presentations at this year's AACR Annual Meeting will include candidates from our individualized and off-the-shelf mRNA-based cancer vaccine platforms. Among them, a late-breaking presentation will present longer-term follow-up data for our individualized mRNA-based candidate, Autogene Cevumeran, in patients with pancreatic cancer. Our mRNA cancer vaccine approaches in clinical trials are an important pillar in our oncology portfolio. They aim to eliminate residual tumor deposits and reduce tumor burden by targeting multiple antigens simultaneously."

    The hoped-for liberating blow has failed to materialize at Bayer. Instead, the question remains as to how the Company should proceed in the medium term. If Cardiol's study data is indeed positive, the share price should pick up momentum again. This could lead to significant price jumps, as demonstrated in February. The BioNTech share has at least halted the downward trend for now. However, a sustainable trend reversal will require robust study data so that the drug pipeline can finally become a price driver.

    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.

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    Der Autor

    Fabian Lorenz

    For more than twenty years, the Cologne native has been intensively involved with the stock market, both professionally and privately. He is particularly passionate about national and international small and micro caps.

    About the author

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