27. September 2021 | 13:24 CET
Valneva, Defence Therapeutics, CureVac - Second-tier vaccine makers offer high potential
The battle against the Coronavirus is still ongoing, although more and more people have been vaccinated with vector or mRNA vaccines. In Europe, an average of 60% of all people have received the vaccination. Herd immunity has not yet been achieved, in part because of vaccine skeptics who do not yet trust novel vaccines. New vaccines based on dead viruses promise to remedy the situation. This method has already been tried and tested in influenza vaccinations, for example. According to a study in Switzerland, about 70% of the unvaccinated would still be vaccinated if the method had already been tested. Herd immunity could thus be achieved, and everyday life could return to normal. So, which vaccine manufacturer that does not currently have an approved product could shake up the market?
time to read:
ISIN: VALNEVA SE EO -_15 | FR0004056851 , DEFENCE THERAPEUTICS INC | CA24463V1013 , CUREVAC N.V. O.N. | NL0015436031
Valneva - Waiting for the results of the study
The last month and a half has been a roller coaster ride for shareholders of French-Austrian Valneva. The stock shot up in mid-August, only to return to the starting point of the rally after the UK canceled the supply contract. As a result, sales of EUR 1.4 billion that were thought to be safe have been lost, even though the Phase 3 clinical trial results are not even available yet.
These results are expected in October. If the results are positive, there should certainly be greater demand for the "classic" vaccine. Unlike many other Corona vaccine manufacturers, Valneva already has two vaccines on the market and other vaccines in the pipeline. Interestingly, they are working with Pfizer on the VLA15 vaccine. Pfizer has shown with BioNTech that it has backed the right horse before.
CEO Thomas Lingelbach said, "We continue to receive daily messages from people around the world waiting for an inactivated vaccine, so we continue to believe that our differentiated vaccine candidate could contribute to the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic." The demand appears to be there. If the vaccine performs well, negotiations with the European Commission could become much easier. Above EUR 15.60, the sideways channel would be broken to the upside.
Defence Therapeutics - Nasal Corona vaccine
The Canadian biotech Company bases its drug development on the proprietary Accum technology. One component of the development pipeline is vaccines against infectious diseases, such as the Coronavirus. The Company is taking a different approach than many of its competitors. After researchers discovered that people infected with the Delta variant, in particular, had a viral load in the nasal cavity that was up to 1,260 times higher than that of the original Corona variant, the Company decided to take up the fight against the virus at the first site of infection.
The AccuVAC-IN002 agent is administered intranasally. The CEO explained, "Defence's new AccuVAC-IN002 formulation enables us to elicit both IgA and IgG antibody responses at the systemic level and mucosal sites. This would have the effect of blocking transmission, thus not only stopping the initial infection but also ensuring nearly 100% blockage of viral release (shedding)." So far, the drug has only been tested on animals. It will be interesting to see how further studies turn out.
In addition to developing the Corona vaccine, the Company also announced progress on its ventricular cell vaccine. Management plans to provide more detailed information soon. The stock is currently in an intact uptrend and is now consolidating. The chart remains bullish as long as the share price does not fall below CAD 6. At around CAD 243 million, the market capitalization is much more favorable than that of the competition.
CureVac - Downsizing production capacities
CureVac had been given a lot of advance praise. The Tuebingen-based Company was confident that it would be at the forefront of mRNA-based vaccine development. A history of delays and ultimately poor efficacy of the preparation made the Company a second-tier candidate. Initially, there was hope that they would present an optimized vaccine based on the new viral mutants. On August 16, the Company announced improved immune response and protective efficacy of its new vaccine variant.
The share price promptly jumped again. However, a closer look at the news reveals that there is still a long way to go before approval is granted. The active ingredient was tested on monkeys. With the announcement on September 14, the Company once again disappointed its shareholders. The contracts with production partners Wacker and Celonic were terminated. Management justified the action with the adjustment of peak demand for vaccines. For the market, this simply meant that the Company itself no longer quite believed in its success.
The share has since gone back into decline. However, the low of EUR 39.10 has not been taken out so far. The stock is in a sideways phase. The Company's development pipeline is full of prophylactic vaccines, cancer immunotherapies and protein-based therapies, all of which are primarily in preclinical development. So the road to a finished product is still long. For now, wait for positive news before jumping in.
Even though all three companies have different approaches to the fight against Corona, they all have the same goal. Valneva is relying on a proven vaccination method and seems to be making the most progress at the moment. Defence Therapeutics is attacking the virus where it meets humans. Further progress should be watched closely. CureVac seems to be lagging at the moment. BioNTech and Moderna share the market for mRNA vaccines against Corona. Therefore, the prospects for CureVac are currently the worst. Nevertheless, for all three candidates, positive news can change everything.