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.
“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 analystratings.com. "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]