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The race to be first to market with a Covid-19 vaccine is already in advanced stages with several names deep into their candidates’ Phase 3 trials.
While several “big pharma” representatives are among the leading pack, the coronavirus has also provided several small cap biotechs a platform on which to gain traction.
A latecomer to the race is VBI Vaccines (VBIV). The company certainly won’t make it across the finish line first, but as the pandemic evolves, could have a role to play further down the line.
VBI recently secured $42 million in funding from the Canadian government to advance development of its Covid-19 vaccine program with the goal of getting a vaccine to market by 1Q22.
The company has 2 candidates - VBI-2901 and VBI-2902 – which have shown promise in pre-clinical trials. VBI hopes to initiate phase 1/2 human studies before the end of the year.
Canaccord analyst John Newman is “encouraged” by the progress so far and looks forward to the program’s development.
However, Newman cites another vaccine in VBI’s pipeline which could be a near term catalyst for the stock.
The company is developing Sci-B-Vac, a three-antigen prophylactic hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine. VBI recently presented Phase 3 clinical trial data which showed that following both two and three doses, the vaccine induced higher seroprotection rates in adults between the ages of 18 to 45, when compared to Energix-B, GlaxoSmithKline's vaccine. VBI plans to apply for regulatory approval in the US, Europe and Canada this quarter.
Newman calls the trial data “impressive” and counts it among several reasons to get behind the small cap.
“We expect Sci-B-Vac approval for Hepatitis B in 2021,” the 5-star analyst said. “We also look forward to additional data for the company's VBI-1901 candidate in recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in 4Q20. Furthermore, we look forward to initiation of phase 1/2 trials for the Covid-19 vaccine pipeline.”
Newman has a Buy rating on VBIV shares along with a $3 price target. The implication for investors? Upside of 21%. (To watch Newman’s track record, click here)
Other analysts might have to seriously disagree with Baldry's target. The Street’s average price target for the shares stands at $6.75, implying possible upside of a whopping 172%. The stock has a Strong Buy rating with all 4 recent reviews recommending it as a Buy. (See VBIV stock analysis on TipRanks)
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.