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November 2nd, 2022 | 14:10 CET

BioNTech, XPhyto Therapeutics, MorphoSys - Biotech stocks facing a renaissance?

  • Biotechnology
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While the Corona pandemic plunged many companies into crisis, the biotech sector was the big winner. The fastest vaccine developers raked in record profits and are still profiting from vaccine orders today. Meanwhile, the Corona Crisis is no longer the focus of attention in many parts of the world. This is one of the reasons why the NASDAQ Biotech Index suffered significant losses until the end of September. In some cases, the shares of biotechnology companies were trading below their cash levels. Since October, things have been on the upswing. Reason enough to take a look at three interesting biotech companies.

time to read: 4 minutes | Author: Armin Schulz

Table of contents:

    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.

    Full interview


    BioNTech - Full product pipeline

    BioNTech made a name for itself by winning the race to develop a vaccine against COVID-19. As a result, it could hardly save itself from orders, and for a while, it was hard to get the vaccine called Comirnaty in Germany. In the meantime, the situation has eased and the Company has placed its Omicron-adapted vaccine on the markets. Partner Pfizer plans to more than quadruple prices for the USD 30 Corona vaccine after US contracts end. That would make the cash register ring even with smaller sales volumes.

    On October 19, BioNTech received a positive CHMP recommendation for Comirnaty in children 6 months to 5 years in the EU. With profits from vaccine production, new opportunities have long since opened up for the Company. For example, a strategic partnership has been formed with the Australian state of Victoria to establish an mRNA research center. mRNA technology is considered key to the fight against cancer. The development pipeline comprises 11 preclinical phase projects, 16 projects in phase 1, 5 in phase 2 and BNT161 against seasonal influenza in phase 3.

    The stock has come back down to earth after soaring to new heights. Since January, the share has been running sideways. There need to be more impulses to move the value emphatically. The quarterly figures on November 7 may provide new fantasy. Most analysts currently recommend holding the share. Only Berenberg recently issued a buy recommendation with a price target of USD 312. Currently, one pays EUR 141.20 for a share certificate. On average, analysts have issued price targets of around EUR 205.

    XPhyto Therapeutics - Good results on Alzheimer's patch

    The Canadian biotech company XPhyto Therapeutics is operationally active, mainly in Germany. The Company has built up three business units dealing with drug formulations and dosage forms, diagnostics and new psychedelic agents, such as cannabinoids. It has developed innovative and cost-effective delivery methods to combat neurological diseases, such as transdermal patches and orally dissolvable films. In diagnostics, the Company offers affordable PCR and biosensor tests for early disease detection. Psychedelic agents can treat depression and other mental illnesses without being toxic or addictive.

    On September 20, a patent application was filed for a library of novel psychedelic compounds. This allows the active ingredient library to be specifically tailored to mental impairment. On October 18, the Company presented the successful in vivo results of its rotigotine patch for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Compared with the branded product, the new copycat product performed as well as the original in skin penetration. It was minimally behind the branded product in the solubility of the active ingredient. CEO Hugh Rogers said, "We are confident that our Rotigotine patch is fully optimized and ready for further human clinical trials. This is an important milestone on the road to product commercialization." The study will last between 6 and 12 months. The market potential is currently USD 518 million and is expected to increase to USD 760 million by 2030.

    On October 4, the Company announced that a non-binding letter of intent was signed with a US-based manufacturing company. The manufacturing, distribution and product development of diagnostic products are being explored. If there are sufficient synergies for both parties, XPhyto will have access to a state-of-the-art, FDA-cleared pharmaceutical manufacturing facility. A more detailed analysis regarding the potential can be found at The stock peaked at CAD 1.70 in February and subsequently fell back to CAD 0.36. Since the beginning of September, the share has gained over 38% and currently stands at CAD 0.50.

    MorphoSys - Fresh neck blows

    The German biotech company MorphoSys was once the stock market darling of the Germans. Several bad decisions later, it is now forced to bake smaller rolls. As a contract research company, it was doing great. But the founder wanted to turn MorphoSys into a pharmaceutical company. That turned out to be more difficult than expected. At the latest, when the Company gave up its fixed royalties to finance the acquisition of Constellation Pharmaceuticals for USD 1.7 billion, things went downhill. The question is whether the stock has now found a bottom.

    On October 21, the Company had to adjust its financial guidance downward slightly. Originally, USD 90 - 110 million had been targeted. Now, it will likely be USD 90 million at best. The problem lies in the weak sales of the cancer drug Monjuvi, which brought in only USD 64.1 million in the first 9 months. On October 27, licensing partner GlaxoSmithKline abandoned the development of otilimab for arthritis. In contrast, the results of the phase 1/2 trial of tulmimetostat were more positive. The compound showed promising results in various tumor types.

    Further hopes are pinned on pelabresib, which was acquired with the Constellation takeover, and the Alzheimer's drug being developed jointly with Roche. Results from the latter are to be presented at the Alzheimer's Conference in San Francisco on November 29. Deutsche Bank has set the stock at Sell with a price target of EUR 18, while JPMorgan recommends a Hold with a price target of EUR 32.50. The share is currently available for EUR 19.72. Investors should wait for new impulses.

    The biotech sector is very volatile. Good news from positive study results can quickly cause a share to rise by 20%. As an investor, however, you also have to be patient. BioNTech will continue to earn well from the Corona vaccine this year. The product pipeline is full. XPhyto Therapeutics is on the move in three different areas, all of which are predicted to have high growth rates through 2030. All three areas have recently reported progress. MorphoSys is struggling with the sins of the past. However, with major partners like Roche, positive news is likely only a matter of time.

    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

    Armin Schulz

    Born in Mönchengladbach, he studied business administration in the Netherlands. In the course of his studies he came into contact with the stock exchange for the first time. He has more than 25 years of experience in stock market business.

    About the author

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    Commented by André Will-Laudien on February 16th, 2024 | 07:00 CET

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    The biotech sector has made a very differentiated start to the new year. While the old favorites are barely moving, the second-line stocks MorphoSys and Cardiol Therapeutics are making a real splash. At Bayer, the bad news just won't go away, and despite a successful major takeover, Pfizer has not yet found its forward gear. After a rally of almost 15% in December, the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index (NBI) has taken a pause in the current year. Now, everyone is waiting for the first interest rate cut by central banks. Inflation is already falling, and the negative economic data for the Eurozone is increasing. The ECB would normally be in demand. What should investors urgently keep an eye on?