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September 29th, 2023 | 07:00 CEST

Defence Therapeutics, Schott Pharma, Allianz Group: Focus on Innovation, Growth and Portfolio Optimization

  • Biotechnology
  • Pharma
  • Investments
Photo credits: Schott Pharma AG

According to a recent study, biotech company Defence Therapeutics achieves twice the immune response of conventional mRNA therapies with its Accum® mRNA technology. That translates to fewer side effects and a more effective treatment. According to Precedence Research, the market size for mRNA therapeutics is projected to reach approximately USD 137.59 billion by 2032. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.2% from 2023 to 2032. In order to inject these active ingredients, precision-fit medical vials are required, and Schott Pharma is ensuring this with their IPO launched on the German stock exchange this week, which could bring a valuation of around EUR 4 billion. The Allianz Group, on the other hand, is focusing on consolidation, selling its business in the Middle East and thus flushing around EUR 210 million cash into its coffers.

time to read: 5 minutes | Author: Juliane Zielonka

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


    Accum™ technology by Defence Therapeutics: Twice as strong immune response as conventional mRNA therapies

    Canadian biotech company Defence Therapeutics has achieved another breakthrough in its mRNA research. The Company specializes in the development of immuno-oncology vaccines and drug delivery systems. In the fight against cancer, significantly more precise methods for destroying harmful tumor cells are emerging, now even at the cellular level.

    This is precisely where Defence Therapeutics comes in, reporting that their encapsulation strategy for producing Accum™ mRNA lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) generates an antibody response twice as strong as conventional mRNA LNPs. The stronger the body's immune response, the greater the likelihood of containing cancer. These results provide a solid foundation for additional testing to optimize Defence's mRNA vaccine portfolio.

    Lipids are organic molecules whose main property is water repellency. Lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) are tiny particles made of these compounds. They represent a new method of transporting drugs.

    In this process, the active ingredients are injected into the LNP's, protected by their water-repellent compound and transported within the body. Accum™ LNP technology protects the drugs so they get to the right place in the body. Once there, the LNPs open to release the drug. This ensures that drugs work more effectively and have fewer side effects.

    "The use of mRNA vaccines, which is now rapidly expanding into cancer therapy, will grow exponentially over the next 10 years due to their proven efficacy and ease of manufacture. Defence Therapeutics is focusing its attention on the use of Accum™ technology in mRNA vaccine possibilities, which will have a major impact on the immune responses triggered," explains Sébastien Plouffe, CEO of Defence Therapeutics.

    Accum™ has been tested in various applications and is shown to enhance the effectiveness of drugs. The Defence Therapeutics team is convinced that Accum™ improves the stability of drug molecules and increases their efficacy by delivering them to the right area of the body.

    Frankfurt stock exchange launch: Schott Pharma exceeds issue price at EUR 30 per share

    The German company Schott Pharma, a manufacturer of medical vials, set the issue price for its initial public offering (IPO) at EUR 27 per share on Wednesday. This gives the Company a potential valuation of up to EUR 4.1 billion. According to Reuters, the share shot straight up to EUR 30 on Thursday. Schott Pharma is launching with a placement of 34,641,362 shares (including over-allotments), resulting in gross IPO proceeds of EUR 935 million.

    In this IPO, parent Schott AG is offering a 23% stake in its medical vial division and retaining the remaining 77% as a long-term shareholder.

    A key investor, Qatar Holding LLC, a subsidiary of sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority, has agreed to purchase up to EUR 200 million in offered shares, representing a nearly 4.9% stake in Schott Pharma.

    "There is strong demand not only for our leading drug storage and delivery solutions but also from investors worldwide, demonstrating the excellent potential of our company," said Andreas Reisse, CEO of Schott Pharma.

    The portfolio includes everything from syringes and cartridges to vials and ampoules, all made of Type I borosilicate glass and high-quality pharmaceutical polymer. The value of seamless production of containers for filling was felt by parents of sick infants last year. Liquid cough syrups were in absolute short supply or no longer available due to a shortage of vials.

    Schott Pharma is also 100% focused on injectable drugs, which includes Defence Therapeutics' Accum™ technology. According to studies, market growth of injectable drugs will outpace overall pharmaceutical market growth, with a projected 1.4-fold increase from EUR 426 billion (2022) to EUR 579 billion (2026). Schott Pharma expects the market they address to grow by 8% annually over the next few years.

    The business-critical importance of drug storage solutions and drug delivery systems enables the German company to benefit from many global trends in medicine and biotechnology.

    Allianz SE sells all its shares in Allianz Saudi Fransi

    Allianz Group, one of the world's leading insurance and asset management companies, today announced the signing of a binding agreement to transfer its 51% stake in Allianz Saudi Fransi (AzSF) in Saudi Arabia to ADNIC. The move will help the German insurer optimize its portfolio and raise funds. Allianz Saudi Fransi was established in 2007 and is a joint venture between Allianz Group and Banque Saudi Fransi. Riyadh-based Allianz Saudi Fransi's shares have fallen about 44% this year, giving the Company a market capitalization of about EUR 219.6 million. Allianz Saudi Fransi offers a range of insurance products, including individual offerings such as motor and travel insurance, as well as corporate services, including marine and health insurance.

    ADNIC is an insurance provider based in the United Arab Emirates and listed on the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange. This move comes as part of the Munich-based group's strategy to simplify its main insurance operations in the Middle East.

    Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC) PJSC was established in the United Arab Emirates in 1972. ADNIC is licensed by the Central Bank of the UAE and listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX). ADNIC's shareholder structure shows that Mamoura Diversified Global Holding PJSC is the largest single shareholder with a 24.77% stake, followed by H. E. Khalaf Bin Ahmed Al Otaiba with 10.11%. S B R Investment LLC holds a 6.87% stake, while Sheikh Tahnoon bin Mohammed Al Nahyan holds a 5.30% stake. The remaining 52.95% stake is owned by various other shareholders.

    The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed in the next few months. It is emphasized that employees and customers of Allianz Saudi Fransi (AzSF) will not be affected by this deal.

    Defence Therapeutics achieves a breakthrough in mRNA research with Accum™ technology by delivering twice the immune response of conventional mRNA therapies. The Canadian biotech company specializes in immuno-oncology vaccines and drug delivery systems and could redefine the cancer fight at the cellular level. Schott Pharma successfully conducted its IPO this week, raising EUR 30 to exceed its issue price of EUR 27 per share. The German company, which makes medical vials, is thus valued at up to EUR 4.1 billion. The Company specializes in containers for injectable drugs and expects strong market growth. Allianz Group sells its 51% stake in Allianz Saudi Fransi (AzSF) to ADNIC to optimize its portfolio. AzSF offers insurance products in Saudi Arabia and has a market capitalization of approximately EUR 219.6 million. The transaction is expected to close in the coming months. Those who want to see more innovative companies live will have the opportunity to do so on October 10 at the 8th International Investment Forum. 20 different companies will be presenting digitally in real-time. You can register here.

    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.

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    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

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