Our investment in a Covid-19 vaccine potential, Dynavax, is rocking this morning, up 40% in the pre-market near $7 per share and up nicely from the $4ish level where we started buying it. Recall that I’d bought a second tranche the other day when the stock was down on no news with the rest of the small cap stocks. The reason for the pop is this news, which the company filed last night with the SEC, bolded is mine:
‘In meetings with securities analysts and investors to be held on May 19, 2020 in connection with a vaccine investor day, Dynavax Technologies Corporation (the “Company”) intends to provide an update on its early-stage collaborations regarding 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. Accordingly, the Company is filing this Current Report on Form 8-K for the purpose of updating the disclosure contained in its prior filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, filed with the SEC on March 11, 2020. The update is that the Company expects that 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.‘
So, that’s pretty much what we were looking for as the company partners with other companies that are developing potential vaccines for Covid-19.
In case you missed it, here’s what I said about DVAX in the video Q&A Chat on Friday, explaining how this company’s technology works and our reasons for owning a little further:
‘What I like about, one of the things I like about DVAX‘s, Dynavax’s approach here is that it’s not like it’s trying to develop the COVID vaccine entirely on its own. It’s partnering with 10, 12, maybe 20 different institutions of different sorts, whether for-profit or not-for-profit, that are developing and spending money trying to develop a vaccine.
But those vaccines need an adjuvant. An analogy that you can make here is that if you create the vaccine and administer it without the adjuvant, you might build enough supply for even 100 million people. But if you use the adjuvant, you could use the same dosage that you had built for 100 million people and actually get maybe 500 billion or a billion people, because the adjuvant allows you to use less of the actual vaccine to generate the body’s response that is required.
And this is just a play that gives us some broad exposure instead of just picking one vaccine play. It gives us maybe 10 or 12, if any of those work, and they might not. Then of course you still have the value of Dynavax’s adjuvant anyway, along with especially their hep B and other potential antiviral vaccine stuff that they’re developing.’
So now what? Well, as you might expect, I am going to trim a little bit here into this pop this morning, locking in some very nice gains in a stock we just started buying a few days ago. And I’ll be keeping a core position in this name as the company would have a lot of upside from here if any of their partners succeed in developing a vaccine.