14. October 2021 | 11:27 CET
BioNTech, Cardiol Therapeutics, CureVac: A decade's worth of ideas!
Biotechnology remains a hotly contested industry. In the fight against a wide range of diseases, biopharmaceuticals are the first port of call. It studies the relationship between drugs and excipients' chemical and physical properties and their form of administration in a living organism. By directly applying findings from biology and biochemistry, technically functional elements are identified. The central objectives are to research, improve and develop processes for the production of relevant substances. Often research goes nowhere; we take a look at the sector.
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ISIN: BIONTECH SE SPON. ADRS 1 | US09075V1026 , CARDIOL THERAPEUTICS | CA14161Y2006 , CUREVAC N.V. O.N. | NL0015436031
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.
BioNTech - Correction in the thin mountain air
The papers of BioNTech are still in correction mode. The discount from the top is now 47%. What happened? Not much, really, except that the remaining willingness to vaccinate in most Western nations has now fallen very far, meaning that the people who wanted a vaccination have already received it. However, 50% of all vaccination centers are closed, and the previously strong media attention is declining. As a result, the vaccine is waiting on the shelves for new buyers who are no longer widely available.
This leads to recalculations about the remaining sales potential for the established manufacturers. BioNTech is the absolute top dog in Germany with a market share of over 80%. Therefore, the coming weeks remain exciting for the Company, as the flu season has probably started according to the calendar. A cancer congress provides further hope in mid-November, at which the Mainz-based Company plans to present some new research data. Most recently, however, Merck & Co's trial success with a Corona drug has put pressure on the vaccine squad.
Analysts at US investment bank Goldman Sachs have again looked at the German biotech stock and reaffirmed their positive assessment. Although the price target of USD 433 is a full 80% above the current price, the vote is only "Neutral". The analysts believe that BioNTech's shares have already priced in the fact that 45% of those vaccinated will receive a booster in the fall and that sales will be split between Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. We will see how the pandemic winter plays out. The BioNTech share is not overpriced now either, with a P/E of 12. Buy the dips!
Cardiol Therapeutics - With measurable steps forward
Cardiol Therapeutics Inc.'s portfolio currently consists of therapies that are in clinical trials and in development, under the brand name CardiolRx™.
Currently, CardiolRx is a highly purified and concentrated oral cannabidiol formulation that has recently received IND (Investigational New Drug) application clearance from the FDA for a Phase II clinical trial in acute myocarditis. The formulation will be clinically tested on 100 patients in the U.S., Canada and Europe, and the IND approval alone is a major milestone for the still young company. The treatment of inflammatory heart disease has become a major focus of the pharmaceutical industry, particularly due to the COVID pandemic. Cardiol has already made considerable progress in this area.
The results of the Phase II trial are expected to be released to the public in the first quarter of 2023, and the Company will certainly provide some research data before then. Already, however, Cardiol Therapeutics has made a name for itself as a specialist in innovative anti-inflammatory therapies for the treatment of cardiovascular disease (CVD). There are likely to be some surprises in the pipeline here.
The Nasdaq listing contributed to a high level of attention with the CRDL share in recent months, causing the price to explode to over CAD 6 on the Canadian home exchange. Currently, the stock is correcting somewhat and is trading between CAD 4.00 and 4.40. The share is very liquid and offers the speculative investor favorable buying and selling opportunities again and again. With a successful Phase II trial, however, the share price will move into other dimensions. The analysts of GBC Research already assign a price target of CAD 17.49. Thus, a good entry opportunity is currently offered.
Please learn first-hand about the Company's potential through CEO David Elsley's presentation today at the investor conference "IIF - International Investment Forum" at 3pm.
CureVac - Withdrawal from the EMA approval process
After CureVac was considered an mRNA pioneer at the beginning of the pandemic, the manufacturer from Tübingen recently flopped with its Covid-19 vaccine. However, on closer inspection, the problems were already apparent at the start: While numerous competitors had long since brought their vaccine to market, CureVac was still collecting data.
CureVac is now withdrawing its vaccine from the EMA approval process. For the Tübingen-based biotech Company, this is a bitter but ultimately strategically correct decision. Given the disappointing study data, the CureVac vaccine would have had little chance of commercialization anyway, even if it had been approved. There are already four approved competitor products on the market, all of which are more effective.
The realignment now allows the Tübingen-based Company to devote more of its still comparatively ample resources to potential successor products, improving its technology and other projects. The starting point for the next attempt may be better in that the Company has an experienced partner on board in the form of pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, which is now likely to take over the direction of further development. It may also be appropriate to diversify into other areas of research. But even this offers no guarantee of success, especially since the British group has been unable to demonstrate any measurable success in drug development in recent years.
For these reasons, the risks in the CureVac share continue to be assessed as considerable. In any case, shareholders will still need some patience, and it does not help that the share price has already fallen a full 72% from its high. The market capitalization of just under EUR 7 billion is still lush. In retrospect, we were right to be cautious about CureVac.
Investing in bio-pharma stocks is currently characterized by high volatility. Nevertheless, the "vaccination" theme may revive in the winter. BioNTech and CureVac are good examples of the ups and downs in a highly competitive industry. On the other hand, Cardiol Therapeutics is operating in a therapeutic field that has outstanding long-term potential.