27. August 2021 | 11:53 CET
BioNTech, XPhyto, Moderna - Boosters for the portfolio
Globally, infection numbers are rising dramatically due to the highly contagious Delta variant. According to the RKI, 12,626 new infections were reported in Germany alone, 4,226 more than a week ago. With the incidence rising above the authoritative level of 35, greater emphasis is again being placed on the rule, vaccinated, recovered or tested. As a result, demand for PCR or rapid tests is skyrocketing. Diagnostic companies, like vaccine producers, are in for a warm cash shower.
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ISIN: BIONTECH SE SPON. ADRS 1 | US09075V1026 , XPHYTO THERAPEUTICS | CA98421R1055 , MODERNA INC. DL-_0001 | US60770K1079
XPhyto - On many feet
Whether it is a restaurant, movie theater or gym, once the incidence of 35 has been exceeded, only those vaccinated, tested, or recovered are allowed in. Currently, around 60% or just under 50 million people in Germany are fully vaccinated. Thus, the need for PCR or rapid tests continues to exist and is expected to increase tremendously as the numbers rise. With the Covid-ID Lab, the bioscience incubator XPhyto is preparing to get a bigger piece of the USD 40 billion rapid test market. In cooperation with Stuttgart-based 3a-diagnostics GmbH, for which XPhyto has an option to purchase for a price of just under EUR 4 million, a universally applicable PCR test has been developed.
The test was already approved in the second quarter. The advantage of the COVID-19 RT-PCR test system "Covid-ID Lab" is that results are delivered after only 20 to 25 minutes, as prior RNA extraction is not required as part of sample preparation. The product thus lies between disposable antigen tests and centralized, automated PCR systems and is to be used preferably at airports, pharmacies and medical care facilities.
In addition to the Covid-ID Lab, the focus is on investing in next-generation drug delivery, diagnostics and new active pharmaceutical ingredients. Acquisition target 3a-diagnostics recently identified the first saliva-activated biosensor candidates to detect COVID-19 infection in the mouth, marking another milestone. The enzyme-activated biosensors are being developed to provide cost-effective and straightforward oral screening tests for direct and rapid detection of infectious diseases, including COVID-19, at home or the point of care. XPhyto intends to continue to grow both organically and through targeted acquisitions. The stock already holds long-term potential due to its broad range of innovations.
BioNTech - Shortly before approval
The share prices of vaccine manufacturers such as BioNTech and Moderna have gone through the roof in recent months. Driven by largely positive news, the Mainz-based companies reached a stock market value of over EUR 75 billion at their recent highs. They were twice as expensive in terms of market capitalization as the pharmaceutical and agricultural giant Bayer. Nevertheless, the momentum speaks for a further test of the all-time highs at USD 463.93. Only a fall below the level of USD 325 would color the chart picture negatively. Invested investors should therefore tighten their stop price upwards.
On the news front, BioNTech can continue to shine. Thus, in cooperation with the US partner Pfizer, further data for the approval of a booster vaccination against the coronavirus are to be submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A Phase 3 study showed that the booster vaccination with the vaccine had "significant neutralizing antibody titers" against the virus. "Neutralizing Sars-CoV-2 titers against the wild-type strain one month after the booster dose were 3.3 times higher than titers after the conventional second dose of vaccine," the statement said.
Moderna - Recall from Japan
Even more explosive than BioNTech's valuation was that of its US counterpart, Moderna. At EUR 129.11 billion, this makes the Company more valuable than pharmaceutical giants Amgen or Merck. Currently, the stock market price is USD 397 billion, clearly too high for Bank of America analysts. According to expert Geoff Meacham, the valuation cannot be justified based on the fundamental data. Therefore, the verdict is "Underperform," with a price target of USD 115.
Bad news also came from Japan. Here, 1.6 million doses of the vaccine were withdrawn due to impurities. It is purely a precautionary measure, and there are no concerns regarding efficacy and safety. The reason is reports of contamination in some ampoules.
The fourth wave is rolling towards Germany, and the demand for corona testing is skyrocketing. XPhyto is a promising player in the diagnostics market here. Although vaccine manufacturers continue to be imaginative, valuations are too high.