06. July 2021 | 13:49 CET
Defence Therapeutics, CureVac, BioNTech - Successful therapy, earn billions!
Since we have a large number of health-threatening issues on the table, there are just as many biotech and pharma companies that have taken up the cause of researching and combating them. Many of them are publicly traded or in the early stages of venture funding. Investors are spoiled for choice; besides good analysis, they need a fair amount of intuition and luck to find the right stock that will truly become a 500-percenter. The cancer research company CEL-SCI recently disappointed, as did the COVID vaccine expert CureVac - both shares ended in a price disaster. The question remains - which horses are the right ones?
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ISIN: DEFENCE THERAPEUTICS INC | CA24463V1013 , CUREVAC N.V. O.N. | NL0015436031 , BIONTECH SE SPON. ADRS 1 | US09075V1026
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.
CureVac - The next dent in the bodywork
The Corona hopeful CureVac has another failure behind it, as the efficacy of the in-house COVID vaccine is only around 50%. The share price has already lost a good 50%, but the Company itself is confident that the CureVac vaccine can still be valuable in the fight against the pandemic. Company CEO Franz-Werner Haas now wants to administer the vaccine to younger people. However, it is precisely at this point that scientists argue daily whether the COVID defense should not be left to the healthy immune system here.
The comparison is somewhat unfair because the competitor's preparations usually only had to stand up to the original Corona type. However, CureVac is already working on a second-generation vaccine. Unfortunately, the current study indicates only 50% efficacy here as well. Switzerland is known to be very open to new approaches and has already ordered 5 million doses of the CureVac preparation. But approval of the vaccine without any conditions is unlikely, even in Switzerland.
In the latest trial phase, the CureVac vaccine has had to compete against 15 different Corona variants. That is the hard fate of a follower! Still on board is the British giant Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) and the production partner, Novartis. In an extreme case, Novartis could also switch and deliver for other companies, because basically, there is a massive demand for vaccines worldwide. Whether all this will help to lift the CureVac share price out of the cellar is, in our opinion, very questionable. As a rule, the stock market is right - and here, people are selling!
Defence Therapeutics - This can become a big story!
Defence Therapeutics is a young biotechnology company from Canada, driving the development of the next generation of vaccines and ADC preparations (ADC = Antibody Drug Conjugates) based on its proprietary Accum platform. In its design, these processes are similar to BioNTech's approach to mRNA research, which enabled the development of the successful COVID vaccine "Comirnaty."
The abbreviation mRNA means "messenger ribonucleic acid." Both Pfizer & BioNTech, Moderna and CureVac rely on a novel mRNA technology researched for more than ten years. The mRNA is a kind of messenger molecule that carries the building instructions for the production of proteins. It transmits the necessary information to the body's cells on how to produce a viral protein. As soon as the protein is produced in the body, the immune system recognizes it as foreign and thus produces antibodies against the virus. The immune response prepares the body to fight the virus. There are interesting parallels for cancer therapy in the processes because the important thing for both active substances is the targeted and precisely dosed delivery to the infected cells, in this case, tumor cells. The aim is to spare the healthy cells or to inflict as little damage as possible. A healthy body can constantly regenerate healthy cells, while a diseased body is already limited in this function.
Defence's new anti-cancer formula hides behind the acronym AccuVAC-D001. In a preliminary preclinical study, a cure success of over 70% was achieved in mice. The tumors were already established and regressed accordingly. Defence Therapeutics has now turned its attention to the therapeutic field of breast cancer, where the active substance Accum-T-DM1 is being used. The further development of the blockbuster drug T-DM1 (Ado-Trastuzumab, Kadcyla®), approved since 2013 for patients with metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer, is intended to enable more precise intracellular drug delivery using Defence Therapeutics' Accum™ technology. Should this succeed, Defence is on the verge of a quantum leap!
Defence Therapeutics announced in late June that it would collaborate with the Paris-based Institut Curie to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of Accum-T-DM1-ADC in PDX models for breast cancer. The Institut Curie is a research center of worldwide renown, pioneering basic and applied scientific research for the benefit of humanity in the fight against diseases such as cancer. Its scientific team has extensive experience in medical and experimental pharmacology using PDX breast cancer models. The agreement between Institut Curie and Defence Therapeutics is for the conduct of head-to-head comparisons of the toxicology profile of T-DM1 and Accum-T-DM1 in mice, as well as the completion of a dose escalation study in PDX mice resistant to T-DM1. Furthermore, a complete breast cancer efficacy study will be conducted in PDX mice undergoing ADC treatment, including HER2-positive PDX models and triple-negative PDX models.
Defence Therapeutics' pipeline is exceedingly interesting, as 75 years of global cancer research has yet to yield any real successes. If there is only a partial success here, the current valuation of just under CAD 215 million should quickly jump up a factor. Until then, of course, some research units will still be necessary.
BioNTech - The WHO wants to have its say
The shares of the German vaccine manufacturer BioNTech have been among the top performers on the international stock markets for months, and not without reason. The operational prospects for the coming years are dazzling, but the outstanding efficacy of the BioNTech vaccine is arousing covetousness not only on the stock exchange. The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has called on the Mainz-based Company BioNTech to boost vaccine production worldwide. What is meant, of course, is the disclosure of patents to establish new sites globally for the production of Corona vaccines. Poorer countries still do not have enough vaccines to vaccinate at least 10% of their populations by the end of September. Progress is too slow with donations here, and winter is approaching.
The WHO's demands are not new, as a temporary lifting of patent protection was discussed weeks ago. So far, however, politicians continue to stand behind the principle of entrepreneurial freedom and intellectual property protection. We think this is a good thing because it is the only way to ensure that enough successors will make the necessary efforts to stand up to the top dog, BioNTech, at some point. BioNTech is analytically expensive, but it is the unrestricted market leader!
The three presented biotech companies bet with CureVac on a surprising message to the positive, with Defence Therapeutics on a lot of fantasy in an absolute future topic and with BioNTech on the highest quality at a stately price! We will have to live with the manifestations of COVID-19, and in the end, we will succeed; cancer, on the other hand, is a real scourge and can hardly be surpassed in terms of mortality.