Dynavax Technologies (DVAX) is surging 40% in Tuesday’s pre-market trading after revealing that it expects one or more of its collaboration partners will commence a Phase 1 clinical trial of a potential COVID-19 vaccine as soon as July 2020.
According to the SEC filing, Dynavax intends to provide an update on its early-stage collaborations in meetings with analysts and investors today.
It will discuss the potential development of a vaccine for COVID-19 containing the company’s proprietary toll-like receptor 9 agonist adjuvant CpG-1018 (“CpG-1018”), the adjuvant used in the company’s Heplisav-B product.
Heplisav-B is indicated for prevention of infection caused by all known subtypes of hepatitis B virus in adults 18 years of age and older. According to Dynavax, 95% of those who received Heplisav-B were protected after just 2 doses in 1 month.
“However, there are risks and uncertainties inherent in vaccine research and development, including the timing of completing development, the results of clinical trials, whether the vaccine will be approved for use, the extent of competition, and whether a vaccine can be successfully commercialized” DVAX adds, warning that as a result, its development of a potential COVID-19 vaccine may not be successful.
Indeed, HC Wainwright analyst Edward White recently reiterated his Dynavax buy rating with a $12 price target, writing “We do not include any of these COVID-19 collaborations in our valuation, but we view them as an upside option on the recent COVID-19 outbreak.”
Instead, he wrote: “We base our $12 price target on our discounted revenue forecasts for Heplisav-B.” This price target indicates 147% upside potential lies ahead. The stock is currently trading down 15% on a year-to-date basis.
Overall DVAX has received three recent buy ratings, adding up to a Strong Buy analyst consensus. (See Dynavax stock analysis on TipRanks).
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