Close menu

March 3rd, 2022 | 13:12 CET

Cardiol, BioNTech, Novartis - Inventory at three high-flyers

  • CBD
  • Biotechnology
Photo credits:

Good news, this time from Cardiol Therapeutics. Both the US FDA and regulatory authorities in Brazil and Mexico have given the green light for the inclusion of patients already vaccinated against COVID-19 in the LANCER trial. The opening with respect to this patient group increases the likelihood of a speedy trial completion. The pandemic cannot be over until global efforts are made to fight the virus together. So BioNTech will build a plant in Rwanda. And Novartis, as an experienced Big Pharma giant, illustrates through its quarterly figures how valuable the pharmaceutical industry as a whole can be as an investment.

time to read: 6 minutes | Author: Juliane Zielonka

Table of contents:

    David Elsley, CEO, Cardiol Therapeutics
    "[...] Since inflammation is a cause of heart failure, and heart failure in turn is one of the leading causes of death in the Western world [...]" David Elsley, CEO, Cardiol Therapeutics

    Full interview


    Cardiol Therapeutics - LANCER study gets patient growth

    Cardiol Therapeutics is a life sciences company focused on researching and developing anti-inflammatory therapies to treat cardiovascular disease. Before pharmaceutical drugs receive regulatory approval and thus find their way into the market, various clinical studies are required to accurately research and document the mode of action of the therapeutics. Another milestone has now been reached for Cardiol Therapeutics in Phase II/III of its future cannabidiol-based product. Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is an active ingredient from the female hemp plant discovered in 1940. The US FDA and regulatory authorities in Brazil and Mexico are now giving Cardiol the green light to enroll patients vaccinated against COVID as participants in the large-scale LANCER study.

    The LANCER trial is designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of CardiolRx™ as cardiopulmonary protective therapy to reduce mortality and major cardiovascular events in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who have a history, or risk factors, for cardiovascular disease. In plain English, this also means that myocarditis patients can be treated with it.

    By enrolling the vaccinated patient cohort, the Company expects to recruit more than 50% of patients by the end of the first half of 2022. Total patient enrollment is expected to be completed in the second half of 2022. That is excellent news for investors as the pace for completion of the study is increased.

    "Given the compelling evidence for the anti-inflammatory protective properties of cannabidiol, we believe CardiolRx™ has the potential to reduce a number of cardiopulmonary complications associated with COVID-19 infection. Interest in the LANCER trial remains strong, and Cardiol continues to activate new clinical research sites to accelerate patient enrollment," said Andrew Hamer, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Cardiol Therapeutics. "The repeated waves of COVID-19 outbreaks combined with inconsistent vaccine and booster vaccination underscore the need for therapeutics for high-risk patient populations, particularly those with significant cardiovascular risk factors. Despite the challenges posed by ongoing changes to the standard of care, we are confident that the recently approved protocol changes will help achieve our goals for LANCER patient enrollment."

    With or without vaccination against COVID-19, the risk and likelihood of developing myocarditis has increased significantly since the emergence of the Coronavirus. Therefore, the research conducted by Cardiol Therapeutics with a naturally occurring active ingredient is all the more valuable.

    BioNTech - Production plant in Rwanda

    A global pandemic requires global action to mitigate the situation. So BioNTech announces it will also produce the vaccine in Rwanda, Africa, over the next 24 months. "Local vaccine production in Rwanda and Africa is a success. It requires strong and sustainable partnerships between all stakeholders, including collaboration between academia and the pharmaceutical industry," said Minister of Health Dr. Daniel Ngamije during a health event at Gikondo University in the city of Kigali.

    From an investor perspective, things are happening at this Company. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced this week that BioNTech/Pfizer is now officially approved for children 12 years and older. In use as 'Comirnaty,' the vaccine is already approved in the EU as a two-dose first-line treatment in adolescents and adults and children five years and older. A booster dose colloquially referred to as a booster is currently permitted from the age of 18.

    The EMA's recommendation is based on data from a study in Israel on a booster dose of the vaccine in adolescents aged 16 and older. As yet, this recommendation is not a free pass to vaccinate children in the EU. In order to offer boosters in this age group, other factors must be considered - for example, the risk of side effects such as contracting myocarditis. With a population of more than 13 million, Rwanda currently has 129,516 Corona-infected people and 1,457 deaths, with a vaccination rate of 56%.

    Svenja Schulze, Germany's Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, described BioNTech's planned investment in Rwanda as a step toward achieving vaccine equity. "COVID-19 was a wake-up call that the world is not okay until Africa is okay. We can only overcome complex challenges like this pandemic with the help of global solidarity, innovation and collaboration among partners," she said, adding, "Equal access to vaccines is the way out of this pandemic." Schulze is a strong advocate for investments like those made by BioNTech. She said that vaccine donations and financial support for Africa are not a sustainable way to combat the pandemic. A dedicated vaccine production plant, on the other hand, is.

    Novartis - Production site in Ireland changes ownership

    Swiss big pharma player Novartis is parting ways with one of its manufacturing sites in Ireland. The Company announced Tuesday that it has agreed to sell the Ringaskiddy plant to British contract manufacturer Sterling Pharma Solutions. The plant produces ingredients for a range of oncology, respiratory, cardiovascular, dermatology, central nervous system and transplantation drugs. The Company is silent about the total amount of the transfer.

    The quarterly figures from Q4 are a different story. Net sales in Q4 were USD 13.2 billion (+4%, +6% cc), benefiting from volume growth of 11%, including 1% due to the reclassification of contract manufacturing from other revenues to sales. CEO Vas Narasimhan commented, "Novartis finished with mid-single-digit sales growth, margin expansion and strong free cash flow. Our market-specific growth drivers continue to perform well across all geographies, reinforcing our confidence in our medium- and long-term growth prospects. Our capital allocation priorities remain balanced as we continue to invest in innovation while initiating a return of capital to our shareholders."

    A heart failure therapeutic saw the strongest growth at a whopping 34%. In sales terms, that is USD 949 million. Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle can no longer pump enough oxygenated blood around the body. That leads to symptoms such as shortness of breath and swollen legs. On the psychological level, patients, most of whom are elderly, find it difficult to accept living with the symptom of heart failure because they often associate it with failure and weakness.

    The second product from Novartis is a treatment for psoriasis, which generated 13% sales growth. Primarily through sales in Europe, China and the US. Interestingly, this is a drug that is injected into patients. Again, it can only be assumed that the suffering of an eczema-like skin condition must be many times greater than a weekly injection to relieve symptoms.

    A look at the Company's PhaseIV clinical trials reveals a focused strategy for treating rare diseases and proven blockbusters. These include a compound to alleviate sickle cell anemia and compounds to treat asthma, multiple sclerosis, and heart failure.

    The development of pharmaceutical drugs from the molecule to the prescription as an active ingredient by the physician is subject to strict regulations. In clinical trials, the mode of action and course of treatments are carefully tested on various patient cohorts before a product is approved for sale. The Coronavirus is giving the issue of cardiovascular disease new impetus. Cases of heart muscle inflammation such as myocarditis are becoming more frequent. With the product from Cardiol Therapeutics, a drug with a natural medicinal active ingredient is paving its way into the mass market. It is guaranteed to be an exciting investment for long-term investors. The pipeline at BioNTech and Novartis is also well filled to help people worldwide. Be it through new jobs like in Rwanda or through blockbusters against asthma, psoriasis and heart failure.

    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.

    Risk notice

    Apaton Finance GmbH offers editors, agencies and companies the opportunity to publish commentaries, interviews, summaries, news and the like on These contents are exclusively for the information of the readers and do not represent any call to action or recommendations, neither explicitly nor implicitly they are to be understood as an assurance of possible price developments. The contents do not replace individual expert investment advice and do not constitute an offer to sell the discussed share(s) or other financial instruments, nor an invitation to buy or sell such.

    The content is expressly not a financial analysis, but a journalistic or advertising text. Readers or users who make investment decisions or carry out transactions on the basis of the information provided here do so entirely at their own risk. No contractual relationship is established between Apaton Finance GmbH and its readers or the users of its offers, as our information only refers to the company and not to the investment decision of the reader or user.

    The acquisition of financial instruments involves high risks, which can lead to the total loss of the invested capital. The information published by Apaton Finance GmbH and its authors is based on careful research. Nevertheless, no liability is assumed for financial losses or a content-related guarantee for the topicality, correctness, appropriateness and completeness of the content provided here. Please also note our Terms of use.

    Der Autor

    Juliane Zielonka

    Born in Bielefeld, she studied German, English and psychology. The emergence of the Internet in the early '90s led her from university to training in graphic design and marketing communications. After years of agency work in corporate branding, she switched to publishing and learned her editorial craft at Hubert Burda Media.

    About the author

    Related comments:

    Commented by Fabian Lorenz on May 16th, 2024 | 08:00 CEST

    Share price shock at Siemens Energy! What are BioNTech and Cardiol Therapeutics doing?

    • Biotechnology
    • Pharma
    • renewableenergies

    The Siemens Energy share has been one of the surprises of recent months. It has more than doubled since the beginning of the year. Is a crash now imminent? Yes, if you believe Bernstein. Their analysts are shocking us with a horror price target. The Cardiol Therapeutics share performed even better than Siemens Energy in 2024. Despite the 150% rally, analysts see upside potential for the cardiovascular disease specialist. Things will get really exciting at the beginning of June when new study results are due. BioNTech, on the other hand, is currently failing to convince analysts. Reactions to the latest quarterly figures were modest.


    Commented by Stefan Feulner on May 14th, 2024 | 07:30 CEST

    Bayer, Defence Therapeutics, Novavax - Major events

    • Biotechnology
    • Pharma

    The biotechnology sector is still on the move and is currently characterized by a high degree of volatility. For instance, BioNTech, a former star during the pandemic, reported a net loss of EUR 315 million in the first quarter. The Mainz-based biotech now wants to focus more on the development of its cancer drugs due to the slump in demand for COVID-19 vaccines. However, for years, innovative, undiscovered companies have existed in this billion-dollar market that could, with their technologies, become the new high-flyers in the biotech industry.


    Commented by André Will-Laudien on May 9th, 2024 | 07:00 CEST

    Biotech and pharma stocks finally follow suit! Novo Nordisk, Bayer, BioNTech, Vidac Pharma and Evotec on the buy list

    • Biotechnology
    • Pharma

    Things looked very different at the beginning of the year. After a brilliant rally in the Nasdaq Biotech Index at the end of last year, investors thought the upswing could continue in 2024. So far, this hope has not been confirmed. The main focus for the industry is the refinancing conditions. These have gradually deteriorated, as stubborn inflation is keeping central bank interest rates high. And judging by the wording of central bankers, the next interest rate cut does not seem to be penciled in yet. However, if it happens in the summer, things will likely move quickly for the life sciences sector. Then a quick sector rotation is the order of the day! Here is our buy list for the upcoming event.