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March 9th, 2023 | 10:52 CET

BioNTech, Pfizer, Bayer and BioNxt Solutions on the biotech takeover merry-go-round

  • Biotechnology
  • Pharma
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2023 could become the year of takeovers in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors. This is what the experts at PwC expect. Thus, at the JP Morgan industry conference in San Francisco, not only were takeover candidates discussed but billion-dollar transactions were reported. One reason is the Inflation Reduction Act in the USA. This allows negotiations on drug prices. To prevent sales declines, Big Pharma must invest in new top sellers. And it is already doing so. The latest takeover rumor comes from BioNTech partner Pfizer. At BioNTech, the negative news currently outweighs the positive. Whether Bayer will take action with the boss or be taken over itself is not yet entirely clear. But there are also opportunities for investors in the smallcap sector. Take BioNxt Solutions, for example - the Canadian company with its operational focus in Germany recently secured new patents, and the share price has jumped.

time to read: 3 minutes | Author: Fabian Lorenz
ISIN: BIONTECH SE SPON. ADRS 1 | US09075V1026 , PFIZER INC. DL-_05 | US7170811035 , BAYER AG NA O.N. | DE000BAY0017 , Bionxt Solutions Inc. | CA0909741062

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    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.

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    BioNxt: Still attractive after share price jump

    The shares of BioNxt Solutions have gained more than 20% in the past week. And there are good reasons to expect the rally to continue. The Canadian company, with an operational focus in Germany, is a diversified life sciences accelerator focused on next-generation drug formulations and delivery systems, diagnostic screening tests, and the manufacture and evaluation of new active pharmaceutical ingredients. Despite the share price jump, the market capitalization is only EUR 43 million. On Tuesday, an exciting acquisition was reported.

    BioNxt has secured patents for a novel technology for the coating and delivery of precision pharmaceuticals. "With BioNxt already having established platforms for transdermal and oral soluble drug delivery, acquiring a novel coating technology for oral drugs is a significant step in expanding and solidifying our drug delivery expertise," said BioNxt CEO Hugh Rogers. "This coating system could significantly improve oral drug delivery via tablets and capsules through more precise drug release and more predictable dosing."

    According to BioNxt, there are numerous applications ranging from dietary supplements and over-the-counter medications to prescription drugs and psychedelic substances. The Company is planning a pilot comparison study in North America to identify specific application areas. According to Fact.MR Research and Consulting, the global oral solid dosage pharmaceuticals market was worth USD 524.6 billion in 2021, accounting for 23.8% of the global pharmaceutical market. By 2032, the segment is expected to grow to USD 1.03 trillion.

    Pfizer: Over 20 billion in the till

    With a growing development pipeline, BioNxt could become an acquisition candidate in the future. In their latest M&A report, the experts at PwC expect the transaction volume in the pharmaceutical and biotech sector to rise to between USD 225 billion and USD 275 billion in the current year. This should involve medium-sized takeovers in particular. Recent speculation about a Seagen purchase would be an outlier to the upside. As the Wall Street Journal and other media reported, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is planning the purchase. Initial talks have already been held. Seagen is currently valued at around USD 30 billion. Even with a price premium, Pfizer could afford the takeover. The Company has more than USD 20 billion in cash on hand. The rest could be financed with stock or debt. Last year, Merck & Co. was reportedly already interested in a takeover. Seagen is said to be of particular interest because of some promising cancer therapies.

    The takeover would be the second transaction in the double-digit billion range within a few months. Biotech pioneer Amgen had bagged the acquisition of Horizon Pharmaceuticals for USD 28 billion in mid-December.

    Researchers examining tumor tissue sections. Source: Bayer AG

    What are Bayer and BioNTech up to?

    German biotech leader BioNTech is unlikely to jump on the takeover bandwagon. However, the Mainz-based company has bulging coffers. But management has made it clear that it is focused on developing its own pipeline. Purchases so far have been of manufacturing capacities around the world. Positive news from research would be good for the Company and the stock. After the attempt to break out of the sideways trend that has lasted for more than a year failed around the turn of the year, the share fell to EUR 120. Lawsuits are also currently dominating the headlines. A civil trial against BioNTech for alleged vaccine damage is scheduled to begin at the Frankfurt Regional Court on April 28. The plaintiff is seeking damages because the COVID-19 vaccine allegedly caused heart damage. In addition, "Die Welt" has reported that approval of the vaccine by BioNTech and partner Pfizer was based on false data from the Phase III trial.

    Whether the publication of the figures on March 27, 2023, will turn things around for BioNTech may be questionable. No positive surprise can be expected in terms of revenue from the sale of the COVID-19 vaccine. Only positive research results can ensure a better mood among shareholders of the Mainz-based company at the moment. Analysts are also currently cautious. The last assessment was at the beginning of February. At that time, UBS had confirmed its "Neutral" rating with a price target of USD 168.

    What will the new Bayer Board of Management do? Spin-off? Acquisitions? There is nothing concrete at Bayer at the moment, only speculation. The capital market expects details on the group's future strategy when new figures are presented on April 28, 2023.

    The year 2023 looks set to be an interesting one in the pharmaceutical and biotech sector. Numerous acquisitions are likely to shake up the market. In addition to big players like Pfizer and BioNTech, investors should look at attractive small caps like BioNxt.

    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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