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18. June 2021 | 12:49 CET

CureVac, BioNTech, Novavax, XPhyto Therapeutics - The Covid giants and the sellout!

  • Biotechnology
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How quickly the tide can turn in the environment of the Corona pandemic can be seen in the vaccine manufacturers and test providers. BioNTech's share price has been rising steadily since the start of the vaccination campaign in Germany, and minor reports of potential side effects are hardly disturbing. In the case of test provider NanoRepro, the bull market of recent months is turning into a total sell-off, with the share losing over 70%. And then there is the Tübingen-based biotech Company CureVac. Delays in approval and a shock on efficacy send the share down by a whole 50% in one day. We take a closer look at the situation.

time to read: 4 minutes by André Will-Laudien
ISIN: NL0015436031 , US09075V1026 , US6700024010 , CA98421R1055



André Will-Laudien

Born in Munich, he first studied economics and graduated in business administration at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in 1995. As he was involved with the stock market at a very early stage, he now has more than 30 years of experience in the capital markets.

About the author

CureVac NV - Too late and not very convincing!

Vaccination is a matter of trust! For the Tuebingen-based biotech Company CureVac, vaccine development is turning into a debacle. The Company recently had to admit that its vaccine candidate CVnCoV had only achieved a preliminary efficacy of 47% against a corona disease of "any severity" in an interim analysis. Thus, it did not meet the specified statistical criteria for success.

The CureVac vaccine candidate has already been in the final and thus approval-relevant 2b/3 study phase since December. While numerous competitors have long since launched their vaccines, CureVac is still collecting data. Whether it will be able to deliver at all and when remains unclear for the time being. A strange feeling had been resonating for some time.

The federal government had long reportedly scheduled CureVac's vaccine for the second half of the year. However, the Company was already missing from the recent list of vaccine delivery schedules published by the Federal Ministry of Health. Given the massive time delay, the Company had recently repeatedly put off not only its shareholders. Until early June, the Company expected - depending on the clinical trial data - the approval of its vaccine candidate in the EU in the second quarter.

In the morning, the CureVac share went down 60% to EUR 31.50 yesterday; by the Xetra close, the stock had recovered to EUR 45. From the top minus 50% from the bottom still plus 50%. One man's joy is another man's sorrow. As a result, the share becomes a casino paper, and Dietmar Hopp is, for the time being, relieved of EUR 5 billion (but has certainly still made a lot of profit since his entry)! The title has become entirely unpredictable!

BioNTech - The vaccination front-runner runs and runs

BioNTech wisely teamed up with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer from the start to get the Corona vaccine project over the finish line as quickly as possible. However, CureVac was far too late in bringing a partner on board. The global megaproject has had to break its timelines again and again. Things are different at BioNTech, where international orders are repeatedly increased in a 3-day rhythm. As a result, the operating results of BioNTech and Pfizer are boosted and almost push the share price constantly upwards.

It is likely this could continue for some time because, unfortunately, the dangerous delta variant of the COVID virus is still prone to infection in the summer. The vaccine from BioNTech has so far been able to show strong study results in connection with mutations and, most recently, with the delta variant in particular. Thus, the current scenario is likely to continue for a while. In any case, the share is basking in this environment at prices around EUR 178, just below its all-time high.

Novavax - With high efficacy against the mutants

Another Covid-19 vaccine showed excellent efficacy in studies: NVX-CoV2373 from Novavax. The recombinant nanoparticle protein-based vaccine provided 90% protection against Covid-19, and none of those vaccinated by Novavax have yet to develop any severe disease.

According to the manufacturer, these results bring Novavax a big step closer to the approval of its Corona vaccine, as the pivotal Phase III met its primary endpoint. The recombinant spike protein-based vaccine demonstrated an overall efficacy of 90.4% against Covid-19. The study was placebo-controlled and observer-blinded and included 29,960 participants aged 18 years and older at 119 different sites in the United States. A total of 77 Covid-19 cases occurred - 63 in the placebo group and 14 in participants vaccinated with NVX-CoV2373. However, the vaccinated participants consistently had only mild cases of Covid-19, whereas the placebo group also had 10 moderate and 4 severe corona cases. Thus, Novavax claims 100% efficacy against moderate to severe Covid-19 disease.

The share had already risen to over EUR 190 before the announcement and suffered from profit-taking towards the weekend. To us, this stock seems to be pretty much maxed out overall.

XPhyto Therapeutics - Good ideas in a dynamic environment

XPhyto Therapeutics is currently going from strength to strength. At the end of May, the Vancouver-based biotech Company announced that it would start selling the 25-minute SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) RT-PCR test system in Germany. Sales will be rolled out through logistics partner Max Pharma under the short name Covid-ID Lab. Covid-ID Lab is registered within the European Union as a commercial in vitro diagnostic test (CE-IVD).

Covid-ID Lab requires only a 20-minute PCR run time without prior RNA extraction as part of sample preparation to perform the test. After RT-PCR, the SARS-CoV-2 virus is detected on a test chip within 5 minutes. If SARS-CoV-2 is present, the result can be read visually immediately. Thus, the speed of an antigen test is combined with the accuracy of a PCR test.

Covid-ID Lab provides diagnostic accuracy within minutes at the scene of the event. It is a specialized product designed to fill the market gap between single-use antigen tests and centralized, automated PCR systems. With this offering, the Company is targeting specific sites such as airports, cruise lines, pharmacies, clinics and various industrial and educational facilities that require rapid and unambiguous results.

The Company is also continuing to implement its milestones in the psilocybin area. The GMP mescaline synthesis program and completion of the first production batches are on schedule. Pharmaceutical-grade, industrial-scale production of psychedelic compounds, including mescaline and psilocybin, is an integral part of XPhyto's psychedelic medicine program. It will provide a foundation for drug formulation and clinical validation work. It is conceivable that using these new substances will bring us much closer to the treatment of previously difficult to incurable mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, addiction and trauma-related stress disorders.

The XPhyto share has undergone a minor correction since February. It is also trading with excellent turnover in Germany. At the current level of CAD 2.10, the market capitalization is about CAD 135 million. The variety of research approaches will sooner or later deliver a blockbuster; this is guaranteed by the quality of the teams and associated cooperation partners. In the range of CAD 2.10 or EUR 1.42, be sure to buy!


André Will-Laudien

Born in Munich, he first studied economics and graduated in business administration at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in 1995. As he was involved with the stock market at a very early stage, he now has more than 30 years of experience in the capital markets.

About the author

Conflict of interest & risk note

In accordance with §34b WpHG we would like to point out that Apaton Finance GmbH as well as partners, authors or employees of Apaton Finance GmbH may hold long or short positions in the aforementioned companies and that there may therefore be a conflict of interest. Apaton Finance GmbH may have a paid contractual relationship with the company, which is reported on in the context of the Apaton Finance GmbH Internet offer as well as in the social media, on partner sites or in e-mail messages. Further details can be found in our Conflict of Interest & Risk Disclosure.

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