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24. November 2021 | 12:41 CET

BioNTech, Defence Therapeutics, Novavax: Another step towards vaccination against cancer

  • Biotechnology
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In Portugal and Spain, vaccination rates are higher than in Germany. There are various discussions about the reasons for this. One argument is the fact that infant mortality was high in both countries for a long time. Those who still vividly remember the stories of dead or lifelong damaged infants are less likely to think twice when the doctor calls for vaccination. The recent experience with BioNTech and other vaccines could also give a new boost to the willingness to vaccinate. It is, therefore, quite fitting that vaccines against many different diseases are now emerging on the market.

time to read: 3 minutes by Nico Popp



Nico Popp

At home in Southern Germany, the passionate stock exchange expert has been accompanying the capital markets for about twenty years. With a soft spot for smaller companies, he is constantly on the lookout for exciting investment stories.

About the author

BioNTech: One success story

Before the vaccine champions at BioNTech announced their decision to develop a vaccine against COVID-19 early in 2020, mRNA technology focused on other uses. Among them, the fight against cancer. BioNTech had previously been researching and developing for years and was capitalizing on the pandemic. Suddenly, approval procedures and the bureaucracy behind them no longer seemed to be an obstacle. Also, the US government emphasized that a vaccine could cost whatever it wanted. These conditions ensured that vaccine developers could focus on the essentials - and go all out without risk.

Whereas a mistake in developing a vaccine or drug without regular evaluation can be costly, this risk was largely eliminated in the case of the vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer. The results were impressive. The two pharmaceutical specialists moved forward with clinical trials at lightning speed, and the results surprised everyone: an efficacy rate of over 90% was far more than many observers had expected. The fact that the effect wears off over time and that BioNTech, like many other vaccines, probably has to be vaccinated in a triple schedule is something we have only known since the summer. That does not diminish the success of BioNTech. The booster wave is bringing fresh capital into the Company's coffers. At the same time, BioNTech is likely to have new versions of its vaccine already up its sleeve to make adjustments in the next variant. Keeping these aces up its sleeve makes perfect sense - after all, the virus is also adjusting to the conditions. BioNTech is a world-class company, but it is now also expensive.

Defence Therapeutics: Focus on breast and skin cancer

The example of Defence Therapeutics shows that it sometimes makes perfect sense to think outside the box when making investments. With Accum™, the Company has developed a technology that enables antibodies to piggyback on certain active ingredients and transport them exactly where they are needed. These so-called Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs), i.e. the combination of antibody and active ingredient, are often cited in the research community as a great source of hope. Since these ADCs are also ideally suited for use in vaccines, Defence Therapeutics is also pursuing an ambitious vaccine development program with its sights set on nothing less than the fight against cancer.

Most recently, the Company announced that it has entered into an agreement with the Lady Davis Institute Cell Processing Center (CPC) to produce the vaccine candidate AccuVAC-D001. The focus of the vaccine is to fight melanoma, or skin cancer, and breast cancer. Both types of cancer are highly prevalent - almost everyone will have heard of such diseases in their family or acquaintances. The agreement now concluded is an important step towards the complete evaluation and ultimately the vaccine's approval following the completion of successful studies. "By entering into this agreement, we have taken another step towards initiating our Phase I trial with our proprietary AccumTM DC technology. These trials will not only establish the "blueprints" for our manufacturing process but also implement key quality control steps required by regulatory authorities before we can begin treating melanoma and breast cancer patients in 2022," Mr. Plouffe, CEO of Defence Therapeutics, said in a press release. Shares of Defence Therapeutics have been in a slight downward consolidation over the past three months but have already reacted positively to the news. In German trading, the stock could pick up additional momentum beyond EUR 4.50. However, investors should bear in mind that the value is speculative due to the pending approval procedure. However, the technology is certainly promising for the future!

Novavax: There is life in the old dog yet

Novavax shows that even old technology can have a future. The vaccine manufacturer wants to score points with a dead vaccine against COVID-19. The vaccinees are injected with an inactive virus - this method has been tried and tested for decades. It is therefore also the preferred choice of skeptical people, such as soccer player Joshua Kimmich. Although in the broadest sense, Moderna and BioNTech's mRNA technology also relies on dead vaccines, Novovax's solution could still appeal to new vaccinees, helping to close vaccination gaps and finally defeat the pandemic. Novavax's vaccine could be approved in the EU in as little as a few weeks.

The share price has already risen by around 60% in the past four weeks. Defence Therapeutics currently offers greater potential. Although COVID-19 is not involved here, vaccines against common types of cancer are likely to trigger a run similar to the one that once took place in BioNTech shares. The latter rose by a whopping 226% last year alone. It may therefore be worthwhile for investors to think a little outside the box.


Nico Popp

At home in Southern Germany, the passionate stock exchange expert has been accompanying the capital markets for about twenty years. With a soft spot for smaller companies, he is constantly on the lookout for exciting investment stories.

About the author

Conflict of interest & risk note

In accordance with §34b WpHG we would like to point out that Apaton Finance GmbH as well as partners, authors or employees of Apaton Finance GmbH may hold long or short positions in the aforementioned companies and that there may therefore be a conflict of interest. Apaton Finance GmbH may have a paid contractual relationship with the company, which is reported on in the context of the Apaton Finance GmbH Internet offer as well as in the social media, on partner sites or in e-mail messages. Further details can be found in our Conflict of Interest & Risk Disclosure.

Related comments:

25. November 2021 | 12:44 CET | by Fabian Lorenz

BioNTech, Valneva, Cardiol Therapeutics: Vaccination boosters also share boosters?

  • Biotechnology

The Corona pandemic has been with us all for a good 18 months now, and there is no end in sight. While the industrialized countries are boosting their vaccines, large parts of the world's population have still not been vaccinated for the first time. That means that shares of manufacturers of vaccines or drugs against COVID-19 will continue to be the focus of investors. Driven by the booster and mandatory vaccination discussions, BioNTech has left the correction behind, and the share is marching towards EUR 300. Drug developer Cardiol Therapeutics should now pick up again after the successful capital increase. In any event, analysts see price potential. Vaccine developer Valneva benefits from the EU order but has not yet recovered from Tuesday's "flash crash".


19. November 2021 | 11:21 CET | by Armin Schulz

Valneva, Cardiol Therapeutics, Novavax - Is the Corona emergency brake coming?

  • Biotechnology

Today, the Robert Koch Institute reported 65,371 new infections, a new sad record. In Berlin, politicians are currently discussing how to proceed. Abolishing the free tests to increase the pressure on the unvaccinated has proven wrong in retrospect. The fact that booster vaccinations might be necessary was also not considered when the vaccination centers were closed. Now the first state is discussing the next lockdown. If the numbers continue to rise, the emergency brake will be pulled in Berlin sooner or later. In parts of Austria, it is already a reality. We take a look at three possible winners of a lockdown.


15. November 2021 | 10:50 CET | by Stefan Feulner

Valneva, XPhyto, NanoRepro - Here we go again

  • Biotechnology

Although around 67.4% of the population in Germany is already fully vaccinated, the infection figures are rising to unprecedented heights. The fourth wave with the highly contagious Delta variant is rolling across the republic. This development must be stopped as quickly as possible. In addition to booster vaccinations, politicians are therefore reintroducing citizen testing as a tool against the spread. For diagnostics companies and providers of rapid tests, this means a boom and further increases in earnings, likely to be reflected in stock market valuations in the near future.