January 20th, 2022 | 09:15 CET
Valneva, XPhyto, BioNTech - This is the breakthrough
Table of contents:
Valneva - Blow after blow
As recently as the afternoon, French-Austrian vaccine maker Valneva was seeking damage control as the Company's share price plunged about 50% since the start of the year to a low of EUR 12.68. "The process is progressing as planned, and we currently see no reason to question our previously communicated guidance of a possible first EMA approval in the first quarter," the Company said on Wednesday in response to a request from news agency Reuters.
However, a short time later came the redemptive news, marking a milestone in the Company's young history. Preliminary laboratory studies show that three doses of Valneva's inactivated COVID-19 vaccine candidate VLA2001 neutralize the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529 line), a company statement said. 100% of serum samples tested showed neutralizing antibodies to the original virus and the Delta variant and 87% to the Omicron variant.
Dr. Juan Carlos Jaramillo, Chief Medical Officer of Valneva, commented, "We are very pleased with these results, confirming the potential of our inactivated adjuvanted whole virus vaccine for broad-spectrum protection and its ability to combat the currently circulating variants of concern. Furthermore, Valneva expects to submit all applications to the respective authorities in time to receive a potential approval still in the first quarter.
In November, the vaccine producer announced that the European Commission had signed an agreement with the Company to supply up to 60 million doses of VLA2001 over a two-year period - including 24.3 million doses in 2022. Delivery of the vaccine in Europe is currently expected in April 2022, subject to EMA approval. In December 2021, Valneva also announced that it had signed an agreement to supply one million doses of VLA2001 to the Kingdom of Bahrain, subject to approval by the Bahrain Health Authority, in the first quarter of 2022. Now Valneva could become a "top dog" after all, as a recent analysis at researchanalyst.com suggested.
XPhyto - Expansion ahead
Also progressing well is life sciences accelerator XPhyto, which specializes in investing in next-generation drug delivery, diagnostics, and new active pharmaceutical ingredients. These include precision transdermal and orally dissolvable drug formulations, rapid and cost-effective testing for infectious diseases and oral health, and standardization of new pharmaceutical agents for neurological applications, including psychedelic compounds and cannabinoids. The Company has research and development sites in North America and Europe, with an operational focus in Germany, and is currently focused on regulatory approval and commercialization of medical products for European markets.
In addition to the appointment of Drahoslav Zdarek as the new Head of Sales, the Company's top priority is the commercialization of Covid-ID Lab. The Company's CE Mark-approved RT-PCR rapid test in Germany is registered as a commercial in vitro diagnostic test (CE-IVD) in the European Union.
A distribution agreement was signed with TechUnit to distribute Covid-ID Lab in the Czech Republic as an initial priority market, followed by Hungary, Slovakia, Ukraine and Russia. "The signing of the distribution agreement with TechUnit is an important step in building a strong European sales market," said Prof. Dr. Thomas Beckert. "This is an important relationship with excellent potential for further territorial expansion."
BioNTech continues in free fall
While Valneva is bullish after reporting positive data, the "traditional" vaccine producers continue to lose ground. Moderna, for example, lost around 6%, while BioNTech is down 2.5% at USD 165.41. The next support area is around USD 150. If this level falls, the next broad support area would be around USD 132.
Valneva could celebrate a liberation blow after the sell-off of the last days with the published data. On the other hand, from a technical point of view, the lights continue to be red for the mRNA manufacturers BioNTech and Moderna. The path of XPhyto continues and points to growth through the market launch in new countries.
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