03. May 2021 | 07:25 CET
BioNTech, CureVac, Cardiol Therapeutics: In on the next blockbuster from the start
The two German companies BioNTech and CureVac, have been causing quite a stir since the outbreak of the pandemic. At first, the biotech newcomers were known only to hard-nosed investors who are used to seizing long-term opportunities and accepting initial uncertainty to do so. Even during the first months of the pandemic, it was far from clear whether BioNTech and CureVac would be successful. Only a few insiders had the right instinct early on thanks to the necessary background knowledge and are pleased with BioNTech's annual performance of 260%. But what characterizes the success of innovative biotech companies? And where are the next opportunities lurking? We outline some exciting investment stories.
time to read: 4 minutes by Nico Popp
"[...] We are working closely with the University of Miami's Department of Psychology. [...]" Evan Levine, CEO, PsyBio Therapeutics
BioNTech: This success is set in stone
By now, almost every investor is familiar with the story of BioNTech. The Company focused on mRNA technology early on and was considered a future investment even in pre-pandemic times. The share price in mid-October 2019? EUR 11.50. Today, one share certificate is worth more than EUR 150. What has happened since then? BioNTech has taken its expertise on the road and translated it into a successful product. Shortly after the outbreak of the pandemic, the Mainz-based Company decided to put its knowledge and expertise to work - and was rewarded. The vaccination success in the USA and Israel is based almost entirely on BioNTech. The vaccine is also popular and in demand in Germany.
Vaccinations in numerous other countries and the necessary boosters will continue to bring money into the coffers of BioNTech and its partner Pfizer. In addition, there is the fantasy that mRNA technology has made a breakthrough and that further diseases can be combated. The stock is very attractive but also already very expensive - every investor has the value on their radar.
CureVac: Does thoroughness pay off?
CureVac is sometimes mentioned as a better alternative. The Tübingen-based Company is also a specialist in mRNA and is about to receive approval for its vaccine. Although the vaccine is late in arriving, the Tübingen-based Company has been exceptionally accurate in its development and testing. Whether this thoroughness will pay off, however, is still unclear. Around the serum from Pfizer/BioNTech, there are reports of heart muscle inflammation in young patients in Israel, which could be connected with the vaccination. While the specific numbers of cases are minimal, the reports should ensure that physicians pay increased attention to these cases around vaccinations. Cerebral venous thrombosis cases linked to AstraZeneca's vaccine also increased after the initial media reports. While the situation should only slightly diminish the success of vaccine manufacturers, it could be a reason for investors to be cautious.
Cardiol Therapeutics: Profiteer from BioNTech's adverse events?
The Canadian Company Cardiol Therapeutics could soon be seen as a profiteer from the cases of heart muscle inflammation following BioNTech vaccinations. The Company develops drugs around the active ingredient cannabidiol, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. The Company points to studies that have shown the compound can significantly alleviate heart muscle inflammation. Much like the pandemic was a catalyst for rapid progress for companies like BioNTech and CureVac, the recently publicized vaccine complications could also boost Cardiol Therapeutics' business.
The Company reported just a few days ago that it had enrolled its first patients in the Phase II/III trial of hospitalized Covid-19 patients. "There is compelling evidence that inflammation plays a fundamental role in the development and progression of heart disease," said Andrew Hamer, M.D., chief medical officer of Cardiol Therapeutics. "I am excited to see the initiation of the LANCER trial which will provide a unique opportunity to explore the anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective properties of CardiolRx in COVID-19 patients who are at high risk for major cardiovascular complications."
Given that Covid-19 is a disease that all experts worldwide expect to strike us regularly in the future, much like influenza, and also necessitates booster vaccinations, which themselves may carry risks, Cardiol Therapeutics' study is likely to be closely watched by the market. The Company hopes that its work with Covid-19 patients will lead to rapid research successes and advantages in the event of possible approval. After all, solutions in the fight against Covid-19 are in great demand.
Cardiol Therapeutics valued below EUR 100 million before Nasdaq listing
For investors, there is also the fact that Cardiol is focusing on common heart diseases in addition to their study with Covid-19 patients. Cardiovascular problems are among the leading causes of death in the Western world and represent a billion-dollar market for biotech companies. To promote its approach around highly concentrated cannabidiol to the scientific community, Cardiol Therapeutics is working with renowned cardiologists from around the world - including a doctor at Berlin's Charité hospital. The Company is seeking a listing on the US tech exchange Nasdaq and is betting everything on growth. CEO David Elsley is stoically and consistently pursuing the Company's goals read an interview from late March here. Elsley also compares his Company's current standing with stocks such as GW Pharma, whose share price soared after its Nasdaq listing and eventually acquired for USD 7 billion.
Currently, Cardiol Therapeutics is valued at around EUR 94 million. Given the scientifically apparent effects of the active ingredient cannabidiol in heart muscle inflammation in the context of and without Covid-19 and the Company's advanced research, investors should strongly consider taking a closer look at the stock. The planned Nasdaq listing will make the stock accessible to numerous professional market participants, many of whom are not allowed to invest at this stage for regulatory reasons. Resourceful private investors can use this information advantage for themselves. The stock is highly speculative, but the outlook is promising and the timing seems perfect.