Zika Virus + Biopharma = Billions

Zika Virus + Biopharma = Billions
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The Zika virus, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) is a single stranded RNA (Ribonucleic acid) and belongs to Flaviviridae family. It is spread through an infested Aedes mosquito (mosquitos from tropical or subtropical regions)bite and was initially believed to be prevalent in Africa and Asia, although cases in South America appear to be widespread due to the mosquito f and the Caribbean region (The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, 2016).

Given the continued rapid spread of the virus, the World Health Organization has declared the virus as a global public health crisis. Pharmaceutical and BioPharmaceutical companies are investing millions of dollars in research and development to create vaccines in hope of combatting the spread of Zika.

BioPharma is a high stakes game. One cure or treatment to a condition can make a multi-million dollar company a multi-billion dollar company virtually overnight. Wealth WrapUp has compiled a short list of companies we believe are well positioned to make (or increase) their fortunes working to cure Zika. Here’s what we’ve compiled…



1. Sanofi – SNY

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biotechnologyfocus.ca

Sanofi Pharmaceutical(NYSE:SNY), a French drug conglomerate, is a major player and global leader in pharmaceutical products. The company’s vaccine department, Sanofi Pasteur, is renowned for the development of vaccines including Tuberculosis, Typhoid Fever, and Hepatitis A and B.

The recent outbreak of Zika virus has caught the attention of Pasteur and thus the company is making efforts to develop a vaccine for a disease. Given the company’s influence in vaccine development, Sanofi Pasteur is investing resources in its research and development division in search of a vaccine that will protect populations against Zika virus. Having successfully developed vaccines for yellow fever, encephalitis and dengue; the company believes that there is hope for Zika vaccine.

2. NEWLINK GENETICS – NLNK

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wikimediacommons.com

NewLink Genetics (NASDAQ:NLNK) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing immune-oncology products. On February 2, 2016 the company announced they would also be developing a Zika vaccine. The U.S. drug manufacturer is renowned for manufacturing and commercializing immune-oncology pharmaceutical products; for example cellular immunotherapy and checkpoint inhibitor.

Like Sanofi, NewLink intends to use its influence in prior vaccine development, for example the Ebola vaccine to manufacture Zika virus vaccine. NewLink Genetics’ Infectious Disease Department is currently working with the R&D division to create a vaccine for Zika virus. Since the company has previously developed vaccines for flaviviruses, there is optimism that its R&D division will develop a vaccine for the same (NewLink Genetics Corporation, 2016).

3. Glaxo Smith Kline – GSK

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businessinsider.com

Formed in January 2000 as a $76 billion merger between Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham(NYSE:GSK), Glaxo SmithKline (located in Brentford, England with sub-headquarters globally) is the largest drug maker in the world.

Given the company’s mission to help people do more, feel better and live longer; GSK is reviewing its virus expertise so as to ascertain whether the same can be applied in the creation of Zika virus vaccine. These feasibility studies are aimed at ensuring that the firm has sufficient technologies to undertake a vaccine development process for the pathogen. The vaccine development process could take as long as ten to fifteen years

(Penumudi & Grover, 2016).

4. Syngenta – SYG

syngenta.com

syngenta.com

Syngenta, a Swiss agribusiness company that manufactures agricultural chemicals and seeds, was created due to the business merger between Novartis and Zeneca. Stock Symbol (NYSE:SYT).

Syngenta and China National Chemical Equipment Corporation (ChemChina) have agreed on a £43bn buyout of the former. This deal could be put on hold because it is alleged that Syngenta has the capability of developing a product that could counter the spread of Zika virus. As a result of the uncertainty surrounding the virus, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US is to deliberate on the issue and then give a statement (Kosman, 2016). The Zika virus menace will be a major factor to consider before the deal is closed.

5. BECTON DICKINSON – BD

carefusion

carefusion

One of the best and worst news about the world is that it’s a global village. This means we share the good together with the bad. However, thanks to Becton Dickinson – an American company who is taking advantage of the 21st century medication; medicine is also no longer restricted by any constraint of time or space. This is because a simpler, safer and more effective drug delivery has been assured through BD.

Becton Dickinson stock symbol BDX improves health outcomes through accurate and timely diagnostics. They make resources and technologies for research available, enhancing the understanding of the cell, cellular diagnostics and cell therapy. This company promotes emerging markets (as they’re pioneers in production line) and facilitates disease management in diabetes, women’s health and cancer as well as infection control. BD is passionate about advancing the world’s health thereby bettering the lives of millions of people through their medical, diagnostics and biosciences business segments.

6. INOVIO – INO

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bidnessetc.com

Everyone knows someone who has lost a loved one to the ravaging hands of cancer and icy grips of infectious diseases. Cancer has for a long time seemed like a battle we’ve not only lost but cannot win. It’s the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for over 8.2 million deaths and 14 million new cases. At the same time, infectious diseases caused by pathogens are also one of the leading causes of death worldwide.

inovio.com

inovio.com

At Inovio (NASD:INO), they’re completely given to one cause – to win the fight! They have dedicated researchers and laboratories with state-of-the-art facilities. Their faith in the possibility of eradicating cancer and its destructive tentacles and their belief that infectious diseases can be well understood has put them on the very summit of this war. They do this by stimulating the immune system, preventing today’s challenging diseases and treating them. This pharmaceutical company simply strategizes to win!

Bloomberg sites CEO J. Joseph Kim’s comments in regards to Zika Virus. The company chief stated, “the burst of corporate interest is a boon”. Bloomberg also writes Kim figures Inovio can probably beat the traditional timelines by using DNA vaccination. The experimental Zika shot it’s testing on mice in collaboration with South Korea’s GeneOne Life Science could be injected in humans by the end of this year, he said. Inovio’s stock has gained 20 percent in the past four weeks.

It’s important for investors to keep in mind Inovio has no products on the market. The company’s technology is considered experimental and that no DNA-based vaccine has ever won regulatory approval in the United States.

source: reuters, nypost.com, marketwired.com, globenewswire.com

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