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VBI Vaccines shares pop after Oppenheimer analyst kicks off coverage with Outperform rating

Oppenheimer's Leland Gershell thinks positive news flow from any of VBIV's three vaccine programs could trigger share price appreciation
medical syringe
The company focuses on developing vaccines to address infectious disease

Shares of VBI Vaccines Inc (NASDAQ:VBIV) soared Wednesday after an Oppenheimer analyst initiated coverage of the commercial-stage, bio-pharmaceutical group with an Outperform rating and a $9 price target.

A specialist in vaccines, VBI is moving forward with three drug candidates. The first is a hepatitis B vaccine, Sci-B-Vac, which is approved for use in Israel and 10 other countries, but is currently only in a Phase 3 study in the US, Europe and Canada. Its other two drugs include a vaccine for the prevention of cytomegalovirus (CMV), a common virus that infects people regardless of age, as well as a therapeutic glioblastoma vaccine candidate to address malignant tumors.

READ: Baird analysts stay Neutral on biotech sector as 2019 gets underway

“We see pivotal-stage hepB vaccine Sci-B-Vac as low risk, and its ability to protect less tractable populations should make it a niche competitor,"  wrote Oppenheimer’s Leland Gershell in a note published on "The company’s eVLP technology is being leveraged for CMV (to enter Phase 2 in late 2019) as well as glioblastoma (in Phase 1/2).”

Gershell concluded that positive news flow from any of VBIV’s programs could trigger share appreciation.

Applauding Gershell’s bullish stance, investors sent VBI Vaccines shares up by 7.9% to US$1.91 in afternoon trading on Wednesday.

Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, VBI is focused on developing vaccines to address infectious disease and bolster immune-oncology programs. VBI also has research operations in Ottawa, as well as research and manufacturing facilities in Rehovot, Israel.

Contact Ellen Kelleher at [email protected]

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