October 21st, 2021 | 12:17 CEST
Sartorius, Defence Therapeutics, QIAGEN - Still long potential
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Defence Therapeutics - The next success story
Due to the daily flood of information in the media regarding SARS-CoV-2, since the spring of 2020, society has forgotten that other disease patterns are significantly more dangerous and can lead to death more quickly. In 2019, the Federal Statistical Office counted 239,591 deaths nationwide due to cancer and other neoplasms. Cancer was thus the second most common cause of death, accounting for nearly one in four deaths that year. Only cardiovascular disease has killed more people in Germany each year.
Through its Accum platform technology, the Canadian biotechnology Company Defence Therapeutics has positioned itself broadly. The therapeutic process is used both in the fight against cancer and in developing vaccines against infectious diseases such as Covid-19. ADC drug development serves as the basis. Antibody-drug conjugates promise great potential in cancer therapy because they can specifically destroy cancer cells. The therapeutic window of ADCs, that is, the ratio of efficacy to safety, compares favorably with other forms of therapy. Because the technology is highly specific, acting directly on the cancer cell, side effects can be reduced. The novel Accum method enables precise transport of vaccine antigens or antibody-drug conjugates in the intact form to target cells, which is expected to improve efficiency and efficacy.
Convincing results were published by Defence Therapeutics last week regarding an in vitro study. Defence successfully selected and tested 5 AccumTM variants for ADC therapy with T-deruxtecan. The 5 Accum-T-deruxtecan combinations selected enhance the efficacy of ADC therapy with T-deruxtecan by approximately fivefold in the trastuzumab- and T-DM1-resistant HER2 positive breast cancer cell line model called JIMT-1. At a 0.001 ug/ml concentration, T-deruxtecan induces only about 13% cytotoxicity compared with the 5 Accum T-deruxtecan variants, which increase cytotoxicity by 21-37%.
Defence Therapeutics CEO Sebastien Plouffe said in a statement: "The good results have confirmed the expectations of our scientific team that the AccumTM can enhance the transport of T-deruxtecan to the nucleus and consequently significantly increased the efficacy of the ADC. It also confirms and reiterates the strength and optimization of our AccumTM platform in therapeutic ADCs against cancer and the substantial competitive advantage we have with our AccumTM variants based on our AccumTM technology platform."
The stock market value of the Company, which is traded in Toronto and Frankfurt, is currently EUR 153 million. Thus, the Company still offers significant potential due to its broad range of applications. However, as is usual with biotechnology companies, investors should also accept the risk of a setback.
Sartorius - Outlook "only" confirmed
Despite excellent nine-month figures and confirmation of the outlook, the shares of DAX newcomer Sartorius lost around 4% in value at the start of trading; in the course of trading, the value of the preference shares stabilized and were only down around 1.5%. In the nine months to the end of September, sales revenue rose 50% to EUR 2.53 billion. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization increased by 77% to EUR 866 million, resulting in an adjusted EBITDA margin of 34.3%, compared with 29.1% in the previous year.
At the same time, the laboratory equipment supplier almost doubled its profit by 93% to an adjusted EUR 406 million. For the year as a whole, the Göttingen-based Company anticipates a 45% increase in revenues with an EBITDA margin of 34%.
In 2025, the sales revenue sound barrier of EUR 5 billion is expected to fall; the target operating margin will then be 32%, according to management. In addition to equipping pharmaceutical and research laboratories, Sartorius, which could profit twice from the corona pandemic by manufacturing biopharmaceuticals, including corona vaccines, also sees rapid growth in other application areas. According to Sartorius CEO Joachim Kreuzburg, the development of biopharmaceuticals such as gene and cell therapies is currently growing very dynamically.
QIAGEN declares war on tuberculosis
In the fight against tuberculosis, QIAGEN is setting an example with the market launch and successful CE marking of the novel tuberculosis test QIAreach QuantiFERON-TB for regions with a high disease burden. The new test is expected to contribute to the global fight against TB by improving access to reliable and straightforward TB testing, particularly in resource-poor countries with a high disease burden.
QIAreach QuantiFERON-TB is a milestone in the fight against a pathogen estimated to be carried by more than two billion people worldwide. The test is based on proven QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus technology. It runs on a portable device that enables highly sensitive, digital detection of TB infection as part of a simple and cost-effective complete workflow, improving access to reliable interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA) testing.
Clinical evaluation of the test showed a high level of concordance and increased sensitivity compared to QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus, QIAGEN's gold standard IGRA test-marketed worldwide. QIAGEN shares jumped above resistance at EUR 45, generating a buy signal.
Research to combat a wide range of diseases continues apace, even after Corona. Sartorius is likely to benefit significantly in the future from the development of biopharmaceuticals such as gene and cell therapies, while QIAGEN is declaring war on tuberculosis by launching a new test. Defence Therapeutics' novel Accum technology applies to various diseases and promises long-term potential.
Conflict of interest
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