12. July 2021 | 10:07 CET
CureVac, XPhyto Therapeutics, Paion - Where are the turning points?
"Opportunity and risk are two sides of the same coin", that is to say, with great potential returns, there is also the risk of incurring significant price losses. The biotechnology sector, in particular, offers investors a broad universe in which to find lucrative investments. We present three exciting ideas below. Who is winning the race?
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ISIN: CUREVAC N.V. O.N. | NL0015436031 , XPHYTO THERAPEUTICS | CA98421R1055 , PAION O.N | DE000A0B65S3
CUREVAC NV - Hope dies last
It was not long ago that German biotech company CureVac reported the efficacy of its Corona vaccine candidate. A preliminary evaluation of the preparation had indicated efficacy of around 48%. This value has now been finally confirmed. It is a minor catastrophe. Not only is the efficacy significantly lower than that of the competitor products, but the absolute value is also poor, even if some experts try to put this into perspective.
CureVac is currently lagging behind Astra Zeneca, BioNTech/Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. Success is also becoming more difficult due to the ever-increasing number of mutations. The federal government has now announced that it will no longer include a CureVac vaccine in the vaccination campaign. CureVac, like BioNTech and Moderna, relies on mRNA technology, but takes a slightly different approach. Whether this approach has ultimately failed or is permanently inferior to the mRNA technology of BioNTech or Moderna cannot be conclusively assessed at this point.
The German government, which has invested EUR 300 million in CureVac via the development bank KfW and holds a 16% stake, is probably not quite so pleased about the developments. At a price of around EUR 49, the Company is valued at just under EUR 9 billion. Not much has been heard from analysts yet. The experts are probably still busy calculating what the Company is now worth after the severe setback. And it would not be surprising if the experts' opinions differ widely. It remains exciting.
XPHYTO THERAPEUTICS CORP - Innovative and fast
The Canadian Company focuses on accelerating new and innovative medical solutions. Very roughly, the fields include drug formulations, diagnostics, drug delivery and neurological medications. Among other things, the Company specializes in clinical validation and cannabis growth markets in Europe. In addition to testing kits, XPhyto offers solutions to help the human body better absorb medical agents, such as patches, and develops medicines. In addition to a neurological drug, the Canadians are also working with psychedelic agents.
But the Company also provides innovative answers in Corona times. XPhyto has developed a method that allows PCR tests to deliver meaningful results within 20 to 25 minutes. The Company thus scores points for speed. Given the upcoming wave of travel, XPhyto's solution could make the cash register ring.
At the end of Q2, the Canadians reached an agreement with ten testing centers. XPhyto then signed a contract with ten Covid-19 test centers and the first 1,000 Covid-ID Labs (tests) are already in delivery to test centers in Berlin. The test is predestined for airports, clinics, resorts, etc. XPhyto's solution offers a viable approach with timely results - hence high revenue potential for the Company. The Company remains relatively unspecific regarding an outlook but intends to make up for this once the PCR business is up and running.
PAION AG - Good news from China
Paion is also active in an exciting field. The Aachen-based company aims to become a leading specialty pharma company in anesthesia and intensive care by bringing novel products to the market. The activities revolve around innovative active ingredients for outpatient and hospital sedation, anesthesia and intensive care medicine. The lead substance is Remimazolam, an intravenously administered, ultra-short-acting and easily controlled benzodiazepine sedative and anesthetic.
Remimazolam is partnered in several markets outside Europe. The drug is approved for short sedation in the US and EU and for general anesthesia in Japan, South Korea and perhaps soon in China. Recently, the Company announced that its Chinese Remimazolam licensee, Yichang Humanwell, had informed Paion that the Chinese National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) had accepted the marketing authorization application for Remimazolam Besylate in general anesthesia for review. Should further progress be made here, this should certainly have a positive effect on the share price. Currently, the shares are trading at EUR 1.90, valuing the Company at EUR 135 million.
Ultimately, it is always a good idea for investors to build up a diversified portfolio. Then, by spreading the risk, the potential of exciting stocks like XPhyto or Paion can be captured, and the sleepless nights are minimized.