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March 11th, 2024 | 06:30 CET

Novo Nordisk, Defence Therapeutics, Bayer - Rally after the breakout?

  • Biotechnology
  • Pharma
  • Innovations
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Biotechnology has been revived after a disappointing stock market year in 2023. In addition to the interest rate cut fantasy, which should benefit the capital-intensive and innovative sector in particular, the current wave of acquisitions should lead to further price rises. Although the broad Nasdaq Biotech Index has only risen by 3% since the beginning of the year, it is currently facing key resistance levels. If these are broken through, the momentum northwards could accelerate.

time to read: 3 minutes | Author: Stefan Feulner

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


    Novo Nordisk - Further impetus

    On the other hand, the shares of Europe's most valuable listed company are unstoppable. Since the beginning of the year, the Novo Nordisk share has performed around 30%. And with the announcement shortly before the end of the week, another milestone was announced that could push the Company into much higher territory.

    Novo Nordisk's successful drug Wegovy has received expanded approval in the US, which now also includes the reduction of the risk of heart attacks and strokes. This move could further increase the use and insurance coverage of the popular anti-obesity drug.

    For the first time, a weight-loss drug has also been approved for the prevention of potentially fatal cardiovascular events, the Food and Drug Administration, FDA, announced Friday. The expanded approval now underscores the view that Wegovy offers significant, measurable health benefits beyond weight loss alone.

    In its latest study, US bank JP Morgan reiterated its price target of EUR 127.38 for Novo Nordisk and left the investment rating at "Overweight."

    Defence Therapeutics - Patent for AccuTOX® technology

    A potential takeover candidate for Big Pharma is Defence Therapeutics, a Canadian biotechnology incubator in the field of immuno-oncology. One outstanding reason for a possible acquisition is the versatile and highly scalable platform technology ACCUM™. It has the unique selling proposition (USP) of enabling the precise transport of vaccine antigens or antibody-drug conjugates in an intact form to the target cells. As a result, improved efficiency and efficacy against serious diseases such as cancer and infectious diseases can be developed.

    AccuTOX® represents an optimization of the Accum™ molecule and platform technology developed by Defence Therapeutics. At the end of last year, the marketing authorization application for the Phase I trial was submitted, in which an injectable cancer molecule is used to treat solid cancer tumors and a positive response to the cancer tumor is expected. This has already been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

    The US Patent and Trademark Office has just issued a patent for the AccuTOX® technology. It covers a broad spectrum of therapeutically active molecules that form the basis of the AccuTOX® platform. Defence Therapeutics has been granted these exclusive rights until the end of 2042. The Company's breakthrough discovery demonstrates that certain conjugates of bile acids and peptides in their unbound form are capable of inducing cell death in cancer cells. This efficacy or induction of potential cell death has been observed in various cancer cell types, including lung, breast, colorectal, melanoma and lymphoma cells.

    Bayer with new twelve-year low

    While the DAX, Germany's leading index, once again reached a new all-time high and is marching straight towards the 18,000-point mark, the pharmaceutical and agricultural giant Bayer continues to move in the opposite direction. At EUR 24.96, the Leverkusen-based company marked a new multi-year low last week. And the next significant support zone is not far away. Should Bayer shares sustainably break through the EUR 24.02 area or the low from September 2011, a subsequent slide and a test of the EUR 20 mark cannot be ruled out.

    On Friday, the news that Bayer is making progress in developing an alternative to the weedkiller glyphosate provided some relief. "We are already testing this new substance on real plants," CEO Bill Anderson told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung FAZ. "Our goal is to bring the new product to market in 2028, just four years from now. The CEO stated that this would be the first groundbreaking innovation in this field in 30 years.

    In terms of strategy, the CEO also received encouragement from a major shareholder. As reported by Reuters, David Herro from the major shareholder Harris Associates stated that "Bill Anderson is absolutely on the right track to increase value creation at Bayer." It was right to want to improve the three divisions of the Leverkusen-based pharmaceutical and agricultural group first. "Once this has been achieved, it will be possible to change the corporate structure. However, it makes no sense to change anything in the structure as long as the businesses are not optimized, as otherwise others will reap the benefits."

    Bayer is on its way to developing an alternative to the controversial herbicide glyphosate, but old problems persist. Novo Nordisk was able to announce a milestone. Defence Therapeutics was granted a patent by the US Patent Office to protect its AccuTOX® technology.

    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

    Stefan Feulner

    The native Franconian has more than 20 years of stock exchange experience and a broadly diversified network.
    He is passionate about analyzing a wide variety of business models and investigating new trends.

    About the author

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