VBI Vaccines (CTO: VBIV) is a biopharmaceutical company that is starting to make a name for itself by developing a new generation of vaccines in the commercial phase of the process. These include infectious diseases and immuno-oncology. Although the company is researching a pan-coronavirus vaccine for COVID-19 in collaboration with the National Research Council of Canada, it is mainly the potential FDA approval for Sci-B-Vac® – the only commercially available tri-antigenic vaccine against hepatitis B – that the company is highlighting.

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Hepatitis B is also there

Although the world is still under the spell of COVID-19, there are still many other infectious diseases that infect or even kill millions of people every year. Such as the liver disease Hepatitis B, estimated by the WHO to be around 257 million people worldwide with a chronic hepatitis B infection by 2015. With Sci-B-Vac® VBI promotes the prevention and treatment of hepatitis B. It has demonstrated safety and efficacy in more than 500,000 patients. It is also the only tri-antigenic hepatitis B vaccine approved for use. The vaccine is already commercially available in Israel and has recently completed the Phase 3 program in the United States, Canada and Europe. Sci-B-Vac® may be the second hepatitis B vaccine to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration in more than 25 years.

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Why the Sci-B-Vac® is essential

Hepatitis B vaccines have been on the market for over two decades, but infection with HBV remains a global health problem, largely due to low vaccination coverage. Research has also shown that current vaccines are less protective because the immune system induces a less active protective response in the elderly with Hepatitis B. This is due largely to low vaccination coverage. With the ageing U.S. population and the low number of adult hepatitis B vaccinations in the United States, it is essential to develop a hepatitis B vaccine that can cause a more immunogenic response regardless of the age of the patient.

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How does VBI work

Thanks to years of experience, VBI has its own enveloped virus-like particle (eVLP) technology platform. This development makes it possible to closely mimic the target virus in order to generate a powerful immune response. The main eVLP programs consist of an immunotherapeutic candidate for a glioblastoma vaccine (GBM), a candidate for prophylactic cytomegalovirus (CMV) and a candidate for prophylactic pan-coronavirus. It also shares knowledge and experience with other agencies. For example, VBI has been working with the National Research Council of Canada since March to develop a pan-coronavirus vaccine. Interestingly, the vaccine will also be tested preclinically for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and respiratory syndrome in the Middle East (MERS). Preclinical testing is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2020 to move into the next phase of studies and tests.

The share in July 2020

At the beginning of this month, VBI opened at $3.04 per share. It even dropped to $2.77 per share at the beginning of this week (Monday, July 6, 2020). Due to the high concentration for a COVID-19 vaccine, the company VBI attracted more attention. However, the concentration should be on the potential FDA approval for Sci-B-Vac®, because this development is less competitive in the current market and the process is already in a further phase. Currently (Tuesday, 7 July 2020) the share has increased to $3.23 per share and can rise even further.

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By Omar