The race to bring a COVID-19 vaccine to market is far from over. There are several companies vying for first place, with these names representing Big Pharma as well as the smaller end of the biotech spectrum. Hoping to make its mark, VBI Vaccines (VBIV) belongs to the latter camp.
However, according to Oppenheimer analyst Leland Gershell, it would be unwise to overlook the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based small-cap. The analyst believes “VBI's coronavirus vaccine has potential to be best in-class in a crowded arena and we look ahead to an initiation of Phase 1/2 around YE.”
In fact, VBIV is not developing a coronavirus vaccine, more like coronavirus vaccines.
On August 27, the company revealed that it plans to go ahead with the development of two COVID-19 vaccine candidates, VBI-2901 and VBI-2902. The former will be developed as a pan-coronavirus candidate and the latter as a monovalent candidate for COVID-19, and both will make use of VBIV’s eVLP platform technology, which Gershell claims has “so far shown to be a potentially best-in-class vaccine platform.”
Both candidates have shown promise in preclinical trials, although focus has zeroed in on VBI-2902, as it has been chosen as the lead candidate. Gershell expects VBI-2902 to “have superior activity to SARS-CoV-2 alone over '2901 and other COVID-19 vaccine candidates,” while noting that “mouse-to-mouse data thus far has shown VBI's candidate to be superior ahead of clinical trial enrollment.”
VBI-2901 will have a different role and is expected to “confer broad immunogenicity across all significant coronaviruses including future mutations.” The solution will come with spike proteins from all major coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and SARSCoV-2 (COVID-19).
VBIV’s offerings also stand out from the rest of the pack since in the preclinical trials both candidates were shown to be effective after only a single dose.
All in all, Gershell reiterated an Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating on VBIV shares, alongside an $8 price target, which implies a 106% upside from current levels. (To watch Gershell’s track record, click here)
Gershell’s colleagues agree. VBI’s Strong Buy consensus rating is based on only Buys – 4, in fact. With an average price target of $6.75, the analysts expect shares to appreciate by 74% over the next 12 months. (See VBI Vaccines stock analysis on TipRanks)
To find good ideas for healthcare stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.
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.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.