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September 13th, 2023 | 08:30 CEST

Biotech: Poison cocktail or miracle cure? Defence Therapeutics, MorphoSys, Pfizer

  • Biotechnology
  • Pharma
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Biotech stocks represent both light and dark. At the end of 2020, BioNtech turned the tide of the pandemic with its Comirnaty vaccine. But many shareholders have also had to endure losses. An example of a loss-maker is the share of the SDAX stock MorphoSys. Between 2020 and 2022, the share lost more than 80%. But what were the reasons for the decline? Are there biotech companies that offer better prospects? We shed light on three stocks from the biotech and healthcare sectors.

time to read: 3 minutes | Author: Nico Popp
ISIN: DEFENCE THERAPEUTICS INC | CA24463V1013 , MORPHOSYS AG O.N. | DE0006632003 , PFIZER INC. DL-_05 | US7170811035

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


    MorphoSys: The air is getting thinner

    MorphoSys is considered the German biotech stock. Recently, the value increased significantly and even achieved a return of more than 100% on a six-month horizon. The Company stands for the world's largest antibody database and has a drug pipeline against cancer, rheumatism and Alzheimer's disease. Three projects are in Phase III trials. Initial results could be published by the end of the year. The drug tafasitamab is already on the market and is being tested for its efficacy in other indications. Tafasitamab accounted for a large share of total sales last year. However, the Company still reported a loss of EUR 278 million at the bottom line. After the share price rally of recent months, MorphoSys is already valued at more than EUR 1 billion again. If the Company fails to expand the use of tafasitamab or the advanced projects fail, trouble may be on the horizon for investors. Given the losses, delays are also likely to unsettle the market. MorphoSys remains a speculative stock.

    Defence Therapeutics: Multi-tool Accum™ to help anytime, anywhere

    Without a doubt, Defence Therapeutics is also speculative. Compared to MorphoSys, the Company, which is seeking a listing on Nasdaq, is operating at an earlier stage. In return, however, Defence Therapeutics has a true multi-tool on offer: the patented Accum™ technology is capable of facilitating the transport of all active ingredients or vaccines into target cells. A comparative study is currently underway comparing an mRNA vaccine with Accum™ to a "naked" mRNA vaccine. Defence Therapeutics already has a nuclear medicine collaboration with the French group Orano. "Our Accum™ technology helps all active ingredients or vaccines enter cells to work. This opens up new possibilities for companies like Orano in terms of dosages and treatment regimens. Orano had already experimented with Accum™ before partnering with us and then decided to collaborate," said Defence Therapeutics CEO Sébastien Plouffe in an interview at the end of July.

    Other projects based on Accum™ include the so-called ARM vaccine against cancer, which is said to have potential in hard-to-cure cancers such as ovarian cancer or pancreatic cancer and is to be investigated in more detail this year as part of a Phase I study, and AccuTOX™. The latter compound is a highly potentized version of Accum™, which is expected to be suitable as a chemotherapeutic in pure form. The renowned City of Hope University Hospital in the Los Angeles area is currently preparing all applications for a Phase I study and will subsequently conduct the study. In late July, CEO Plouffe expressed that his company is not currently in dire need of a financing round and that interest from potential partners is strong. "Results of currently ongoing studies will provide further indications of how versatile our Accum™ technology is and the potential areas of application," he said.

    Pfizer and Co. looking for new projects

    Because Accum™ is considered a versatile technology, Defence Therapeutics' multi-tool could also help some projects that have already failed in Phase I trials to gain new momentum. During Phase I trials, vaccines and other active ingredients are tested for tolerability. If doses drop because of better efficacy thanks to Accum™, it could mean a comeback for projects already written off. For larger companies, such as Pfizer, Defence Therapeutics' technology could be a complement. Pfizer, for example, is currently suffering from weakening vaccination readiness - the pandemic is over. New projects focused on common diseases like cancer or infectious diseases such as HPV or RSV could bring fresh excitement into the Company's stock.

    Investments in biotechnology are sometimes treacherous - even pandemic profiteers Pfizer and BioNtech are far from their record highs. Other companies, like MorphoSys, have promising projects, but each focuses on individual diseases. With Defence Therapeutics, investors invest in vaccines and anti-cancer agents, but also in versatile assistive technology. The Company has announced key developments looking ahead to the coming months. Currently, the Company is valued at only CAD 118 million, and the share price has also stabilized. This stock is a candidate for the opportunity-oriented watchlist!

    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") currently hold or hold shares or other financial instruments of the aforementioned companies and speculate on their price developments. In this respect, they intend to sell or acquire shares or other financial instruments of the companies (hereinafter each referred to as a "Transaction"). Transactions may thereby influence the respective price of the shares or other financial instruments of the Company.
    In this respect, there is a concrete conflict of interest in the reporting on the companies.

    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 also 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

    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

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    Commented by André Will-Laudien on February 20th, 2024 | 07:30 CET

    Takeover fever in the biotech sector! Will MorphoSys now be followed by Defence Therapeutics, Evotec and Bayer?

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    It has happened: Novartis is bidding for MorphoSys. Once again, a long-lasting and persistent rumour mill eventually confirms itself. Those who remained loyal to MorphoSys despite heavy selling last fall have now made a profit of over 300%. If we turn the analytical magnifying glass on the sector, we can see that the speculative biotech stock market segment has started to move again since the challenging year 2023. Hopes of falling interest rates in the near future, along with several other M&A hopes, have led to steady inflows into listed bio-ETFs, resulting in fund managers having recently adjusted their weightings upwards. We analyze which stocks are currently making the loudest noise.


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

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