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Several small-cap biotech firms have used the coronavirus as a springboard, and since the pandemic’s onset many have become almost household names. Despite making meaningful market strides over the past year, VBI Vaccines (VBIV) is not one that immediately springs to mind.
However, Raymond James analyst Steven Seedhouse claims the company could yet make an indelible mark in the fight against Covid-19.
VBI’s monovalent Covid-19 vaccine candidate is expected to enter Phase 1/2 trial this month and following pre-clinical data which showed the vaccine compared well against Novavax’ Covid-19 vaccine, Seedhouse believes it may end up being “the most efficacious of any.”
“Given the dose planned for human use is evidently >10-fold the dose tested in mice, we expect the strong preclinical data to translate to humans,” the analyst said. “Moreover, VBI has replicated the strong mouse findings in 2 other animal models including hamsters. We aren't sure the Street really appreciates yet 1) the tail on the COVID vaccine market and 2) just how strong VBI's vaccine may end up being.”
Furthermore, on the Covid-19 front, sometime in 2021, VBI’s pan-coronavirus vaccine (Cov-2, SARS, MERS) will also the enter clinic.
However apart from Covid-19, there are other upcoming “value drivers.” A November 30 PDUFA date has been set for VBI’s prophylactic HBV vaccine. Seedhouse says, an anticipated mid-year manufacturing plant inspection could be a “key hurdle,” although the plant met the required standards before - Sci-B-Vac was given the commercial go-ahead in Israel. While FDA requirements are more stringent, the plant has since been given a makeover to meet the FDA’s standards and his since passed a mock audit.
Additional tailwinds could be provided from the final data of the Phase 1 glioblastoma (GBM) vaccine trial, which is anticipated in 1H21 and the kickoff this quarter of a Phase 2b/3 trial in Southeast Asia/China with partner Brii Bio, studying VBI's HBV vaccine VBI-2601 together with RNAi therapeutic BRII835.
Based on all of the above, Seedhouse rates VBIV a Strong Buy along with a $9 price target. The figure implies a whopping ~170% upside potential from current levels. (To watch Seedhouse’ track record, click here)
Only one other analyst has recently posted a VBIV review, but it is also wholly enthusiastic. The extra Buy results in a Moderate Buy consensus rating. Backed by an $8 average price target, the stock is expected to add 138% of muscle over the next 12 months. (See VBIV stock analysis on TipRanks)
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.