Close menu




July 18th, 2022 | 15:04 CEST

Fall is coming: BioNTech, Defence Therapeutics, CureVac, Valneva - Which biotech stock will surge again?

  • Biotechnology
  • Covid19
Photo credits: pixabay.com

The summer of rising incidences is making its way, but the public has already shelved the pandemic measures and hospitals are filling up again. Even if no one wants to talk about it anymore, the fourth wave is coming! Worldwide, the race for suitable vaccines or treatment methods continues. Medicine is still relatively helpless as far as treating severe cases is concerned, and the subject of post-COVID is considered completely unexplored. We take another critical look at the landscape of biotech stocks.

time to read: 5 minutes | Author: André Will-Laudien
ISIN: BIONTECH SE SPON. ADRS 1 | US09075V1026 , DEFENCE THERAPEUTICS INC | CA24463V1013 , CUREVAC N.V. O.N. | NL0015436031 , VALNEVA SE EO -_15 | FR0004056851

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

     

    BioNTech - Some arrows in the quiver, but CureVac complains

    BioNTech generated more than EUR 10 billion in net profit in fiscal 2021 after a shortfall of about EUR 180 million in the pre-Corona year 2019. The money, which flowed mainly from vaccination, is now expected to flow into further research at the Mainz-based Company. In order to grow further, BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin does not rule out individual acquisitions. It has already been clear since the last capital market conference that in the long term, this will not only be about fighting COVID-19. Fighting cancer with mRNA technology has always been the goal of Sahin and his wife, Özlem Türeci. HEXAL founders Thomas and Andreas Strüngmann stood guard over their idea and still hold a 43% stake today.

    The Corona vaccination was virtually the baptism of fire for a new technology, which is now complemented by new, innovative product developments. Around 20 research projects are in clinical phases I or II, plus 12 preclinical research programs. The Company recently received a promising drug status from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for CAR-T cell therapy for testicular cancer. Sahin has clearly stated that BioNTech would also like to celebrate successes with mRNA away from Corona in the future. Currently, the Mainz-based company is working on corresponding active substances for multiple solid tumors. The topic is also being taken up by other pharmaceutical giants. The French company Sanofi, for example, plans to invest EUR 400 million annually in mRNA vaccines and has recently made further purchases in this area.

    Meanwhile, BioNTech is facing a patent infringement lawsuit from its competitor CureVac. The courts should be pleased, but it remains to be seen who will ultimately be proven right. CureVac failed with its vaccine development, and such lawsuits are common in the industry. That shouldn't save the stock, which is down 90% from its all-time high. BioNTech shares peaked at around USD 464 last August, and since then, the stock has lost nearly 75% of its value at its peak. However, a re-entry into the standard stock should be worthwhile given the current low valuation, as the P/E ratio for 2023 is only a low 9, and the book value still adds up to EUR 112. Buy in weakness!

    Defence Therapeutics - Full steam ahead against cancer

    The Canadian biotech specialist Defence Therapeutics (DTC) has developed the AccumTM platform, a patented technology that offers great hope in current cancer research. As a publicly traded research company, it is working to enable the precise transport of antigens or ADCs in the intact form to target cells using AccumTM.

    The Company has now provided an update on its ongoing ADC programs with global collaborators. One of these is the world-renowned Curie Institute, which is currently conducting a therapeutic efficacy study of the AccumTM-T-DM1 antibody-drug conjugate ("ADC") in a patient-derived xenograft ("PDX") breast cancer model. It will be followed immediately by a head-to-head comparative study of the toxicological and pharmacokinetic profile of T-DM1 versus AccumTM T-DM1 in mice. Results are expected in the third or fourth quarter of this year. T-DM1 (Kadcyla) is currently used to treat women with metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer. The ongoing study aims to demonstrate that the current therapy can be optimized using Defence's AccumTM technology to improve the delivery of the drug to tumour cells.

    Defence is also continuing its collaboration with the HUS Comprehensive Cancer Center in Finland. Collaboration is intensified with the Institut de Recherche en Cancérologie de Montpellier (IRCM), which is currently conducting in vivo studies using AccumTM with radioimmunotherapeutic conjugates. Defence is also collaborating with WASSC Technologies, a biotech company specializing in protein conjugation, molecules and ADCs, to develop a new small molecule for ADC application.

    "Defence's AccumTM platform was developed primarily to improve intranuclear drug delivery for several US Food and Drug Administration-approved or novel antibody conjugates. We strongly believe that all major test results expected this year regarding AccumTM ADCs will continue to demonstrate the efficacy of our technology and take Defence Therapeutics to a new level," said CEO Sebastien Plouffe. The share is currently trading at EUR 1.38, down from just under EUR 4 at the beginning of the year. The value is highly interesting but equally speculative.

    Valneva - Too late - the short hype is already over again

    The French-Austrian vaccine manufacturer Valneva develops, produces and markets vaccines against infectious diseases. With its VLA-2001 dead vaccine, Valneva has a vaccine against the coronavirus that currently has formal approval in the EU, conditional approval in the UK, and emergency approvals in the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. The Company is still struggling to sell its only dead vaccine, as the hoped-for anchor order from the EU Commission in Brussels never materialized due to delays in approval.

    The deeper reason may have to do with the currently prevalent Omicron variants, as the Company's website clarifies that the research data relates to the time before the Omicron variant appeared. Accordingly, Valneva has also received marketing approval for VLA-2001 only "for use as a primary vaccine in people aged 18 to 50 years in Europe," according to the statement. The Company itself believes that VLA-2001 is also suitable for booster vaccination. Studies are currently being conducted to determine whether this is the case, with initial results expected in the third quarter of 2022.

    After a rapid doubling from EUR 7.50 to over EUR 15, the Valneva share has now returned to EUR 10.20, with a current market capitalization of EUR 1.17 billion. At the end of the first quarter, there was still more than EUR 300 million in cash, which should be enough for a few more study series. The Company's large pipeline is also attractive. But time is running out, as the next Corona wave for the fall is already underway. The share is very volatile and speculative!


    The biotech sector has seen a real sell-off in 2022. Crashes of over 70% were the rule rather than the exception. Which stocks can now take off in the fall depends on many factors. Unfortunately, fundraising is now occurring at lower levels and diluting existing shareholders. BioNTech and Moderna are the clear top dogs, and Defence Therapeutics could take off again in the fall with continued success stories.


    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") currently hold or hold shares or other financial instruments of the aforementioned companies and speculate on their price developments. In this respect, they intend to sell or acquire shares or other financial instruments of the companies (hereinafter each referred to as a "Transaction"). Transactions may thereby influence the respective price of the shares or other financial instruments of the Company.
    In this respect, there is a concrete conflict of interest in the reporting on the companies.

    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 also 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 news.financial. 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

    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



    Related comments:

    Commented by André Will-Laudien on February 20th, 2024 | 07:30 CET

    Takeover fever in the biotech sector! Will MorphoSys now be followed by Defence Therapeutics, Evotec and Bayer?

    • Biotechnology
    • Pharma
    • Innovations

    It has happened: Novartis is bidding for MorphoSys. Once again, a long-lasting and persistent rumour mill eventually confirms itself. Those who remained loyal to MorphoSys despite heavy selling last fall have now made a profit of over 300%. If we turn the analytical magnifying glass on the sector, we can see that the speculative biotech stock market segment has started to move again since the challenging year 2023. Hopes of falling interest rates in the near future, along with several other M&A hopes, have led to steady inflows into listed bio-ETFs, resulting in fund managers having recently adjusted their weightings upwards. We analyze which stocks are currently making the loudest noise.

    Read

    Commented by André Will-Laudien on February 16th, 2024 | 07:00 CET

    MorphoSys and Cardiol Therapeutics in upward mode, while Bayer and Pfizer are in slow mode

    • Biotechnology
    • Pharma

    The biotech sector has made a very differentiated start to the new year. While the old favorites are barely moving, the second-line stocks MorphoSys and Cardiol Therapeutics are making a real splash. At Bayer, the bad news just won't go away, and despite a successful major takeover, Pfizer has not yet found its forward gear. After a rally of almost 15% in December, the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index (NBI) has taken a pause in the current year. Now, everyone is waiting for the first interest rate cut by central banks. Inflation is already falling, and the negative economic data for the Eurozone is increasing. The ECB would normally be in demand. What should investors urgently keep an eye on?

    Read

    Commented by Armin Schulz on February 12th, 2024 | 07:00 CET

    MorphoSys, Defence Therapeutics, Bayer - Biotech and Pharma suddenly back in focus

    • Biotechnology
    • Pharma

    Biotech ETFs have been on the rise since the end of October 2023. German biotech companies were able to raise more funds again last year. There are increasing signs that the tough times for investors in biotech and pharmaceutical companies are over. There is also growing activity on the takeover side. Most recently, the takeover bid from Novartis shifted the focus to companies in the healthcare sector. The Swiss pharmaceutical company wants to acquire MorphoSys for EUR 2.7 billion and thus fill up its oncology pipeline. We have selected three companies from the biotech and pharma sectors and examined their current situation.

    Read