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Translate Bio Pops 24% On Sanofi’s Covid-19 Vaccine Enthusiasm

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support@smarteranalyst.com (Ben Mahaney)
·2 min read
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Shares in Translate Bio (TBIO) surged 24% on Friday, after Sanofi (SNYNF) made several positive comments about the outlook for their joint coronavirus vaccine program. In late March, Sanofi added a second program to develop an mRNA vaccine candidate in collaboration with Translate Bio.

During Sanofi’s first quarter earnings call, company CEO Paul Hudson stated that the two companies are targeting initial clinical studies in Q4 2020, aiming for approval in late 2021. “I can’t stress enough from that point” he added.

“Our collaboration partner Translate Bio has significant investment in mRNA capacity in place today already that can be applied towards the vaccine. And we’re scaling up from a current capacity up to 360 million doses by H1 2021” said Hudson.

According to Hudson “Our mRNA vaccine approach provides a second shot on goal based on innovative technology with the potential for accelerated development.”

As the CEO pointed out although others have moved into the clinic with mRNA vaccines faster, it’s unclear how soon these other mRNA vaccines can be produced at the industrial scale required.

“Now, there is a lot of activity in the vaccine sector and I think the WHO [World Health Organization] last count was 76 active COVID-19 vaccine projects. Let’s be really honest, very few of the sponsors of those 76 programs have the expertise or the capacity to produce a vaccine at required scale” he said.

In contrast, as one of the world vaccine leaders, Sanofi already boasts over 10,000 people producing over a billion doses of its own vaccine portfolio.

Overall Sanofi receives a Strong Buy Street consensus, while Translate Bio shows a more cautiously optimistic Moderate Buy analyst consensus. That’s with a $21.50 average analyst price target indicating upside potential of 68%. (See Translate Bio stock analysis on TipRanks).

Most recently Roth Capital’s Anthony Butler published a buy rating on TBIO with a $25 price target explaining that Translate sees its scalable mRNA platform “deliver[ing] vaccine doses in the hundreds of millions which is essential for an effective pandemic response.”

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