Sep 08, 2021 (WallStreetPR via Comtex) -- As new variants begin to pop up for the plague of the 21st century, one can't help but wonder if there are unturned stones from an investor standpoint.
To back that up, we present the case of Israel - once thought to be the poster child of the perfect path around virus mitigation and vaccination rates for COVID-19, Israel is now emerging as a new hot-spot and cautionary tale.
The country that was once predicted to be the first to vaccinate its entire population had the highest per-capita caseload of anywhere in the week through Sept. 4, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University. That's shocking, but it should be educational as we navigate this process collectively.
The moral of the story isn't that vaccines don't work - they do. Instead, the moral may be that we are gradually evolving our global strategy for living with a new endemic enemy in the human microbiome, and it will likely involve multiple vaccine iterations over coming years, and the emergence of a new solution that is easy to store, easy and cheap to transport, cheap to produce in scalable quantities ready-made for billions of people multiple times over multiple years, and uncontroversial in its physiological and cellular aspects.
After all, the biology of the situation is no more important than the sociology and anthropology we face. It seems increasingly likely that it will have to be done again and again all around the world. If it can be done simpler, cheaper, faster, and in a manner most people are already more comfortable with, then it clearly has a higher chance of success.
With that in mind, we take a look at some recent catalysts among the most important stocks in the vaccine space.
Johnson & Johnson /zigman2/quotes/201724570/composite JNJ +0.20% became a leadership play in the non-mRNA Covid-19 race late last year and still is likely the most important frontline alternative to the mRNA (Moderna and Pfizer) vaccines on the playing board as of this summer.
The company engages in the research and development, manufacture, and sale of products in the health care field. It operates through the following segments: Consumer Health, Pharmaceutical, and Medical Devices. The Consumer Health segment includes products used in the baby care, oral care, beauty, over-the-counter pharmaceutical, women's health, and wound care markets. The Pharmaceutical segment focuses on therapeutic areas, such as immunology, infectious diseases, neuroscience, oncology, pulmonary hypertension, and cardiovascular & metabolic diseases. The Medical Devices segment offers products used in the orthopedic, surgery, cardiovascular & neurovascular, and eye health fields.
Johnson & Johnson /zigman2/quotes/201724570/composite JNJ +0.20% recently announced data supporting the use of its COVID-19 vaccine as a booster shot for people previously vaccinated with the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. According to the company's release, in July, the Company reported interim Phase 1/2a data published in the New England Journal of Medicine that demonstrated neutralizing antibody responses generated by the Johnson & Johnson single-shot COVID-19 vaccine were strong and stable through eight months after immunization.
"We have established that a single shot of our COVID-19 vaccine generates strong and robust immune responses that are durable and persistent through eight months. With these new data, we also see that a booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine further increases antibody responses among study participants who had previously received our vaccine," said Mathai Mammen, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head, Janssen Research & Development, Johnson & Johnson. "We look forward to discussing with public health officials a potential strategy for our Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, boosting eight months or longer after the primary single-dose vaccination."
It will be interesting to see if the stock can break out of its recent sideways action. Over the past week, the stock is net flat, and looking for something new to spark things. JNJ shares have been relatively flat over the past month of action, with very little net movement during that period.
Johnson & Johnson /zigman2/quotes/201724570/composite JNJ +0.20% managed to rope in revenues totaling $23.3B in overall sales during the company's most recently reported quarterly financial data — a figure that represents a rate of top line growth of 27.1%, as compared to year-ago data in comparable terms. In addition, the company is battling some balance sheet hurdles, with cash levels struggling to keep up with current liabilities ($25.3B against $38.7B, respectively).
Dyadic International, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205986917/composite DYAI -0.66% is one of the most interesting dark-horse plays emerging here. The company recently signed a landmark deal with Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205669265/composite SRNE -1.68% , a major player in the biotech space on the vaccine side, as part of a plan to boost its unique vaccine solution to market.
The company has a special edge with its fungal-based C1 technology platform, which uses a different vector for producing more vaccine volume faster and cheaper, and its vaccine solution (now starting human testing) is easier to store, produce, transport, and distribute, and cheaper to manufacture quickly, than the mRNA solutions.
Dyadic International, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205986917/composite DYAI -0.66% recently announced, along with SRNE, the signing of a binding term sheet to enter into an exclusive license agreement to develop and commercialize vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics for coronaviruses, including Dyadic's lead COVID-19 vaccine candidate, DYAI-100, produced using Dyadic's proprietary and patented C1-cell protein production platform. The final terms of the license will be set forth in a definitive agreement to be entered into between the parties.
Sorrento Chairman and CEO, Dr. Henry Ji, commented, "We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Dyadic, which began last year, initially with a goal of developing and commercializing a protein-based COVID-19 vaccine that can be rapidly manufactured in large quantities in our existing cGMP facilities, and stored and transported at room temperature, in order to increase access and affordability to underserved populations globally." Dr Ji. continued, "Over the past six months we have carried out several promising preclinical animal studies using the C1-produced RBD antigen in Dyadic's lead COVID-19 vaccine candidate, DYAI-100. Our goal is to manufacture a COVID-19 vaccine that will provide protection across the variants of concern, including Delta, and in addition, apply the C1 protein production platform broadly across our current and future coronavirus programs."