Dynavax Partners with DOD to Develop Adjuvanted Plague Vaccine

Dynavax Technologies Corporation (DVAX), a biopharmaceutical company, has inked a deal with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) for $22 million over two and a half years to develop a recombinant plague vaccine adjuvanted with CpG 1018. Following the announcement, shares of the company rose 1.7% on Monday.

As per the terms of the agreement, a Phase 2 clinical trial will be conducted by Dynavax, combining its CpG 1018 adjuvant with the DOD’s rF1V vaccine. The Phase 2 trial is likely to commence in 2022. Notably, CpG 1018 adjuvant is used in Dynavax’s Heplisav-B.

Markedly, the planned randomized, placebo-controlled, observer-blind and multicenter Phase 2 clinical trial is designed to evaluate the immunogenicity, safety and tolerability of the rF1V vaccine antigens presented by the U.S. government, along with Dynavax’s CpG 1018 adjuvant, in adults 18 to 55 years of age.

The agreement is funded by DOD and aids Dynavax to conduct the Phase 2 clinical trial, submit an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and generate additional clinical trial results in addition to the existing clinical and non-clinical data, the company said.

In response to the deal, Dynavax CEO Ryan Spencer said, “We are honored to receive this award and to support the U.S. government in developing a plague vaccine to protect the U.S. military members who put their lives at risk every day in service to the country.” (See Dynavax stock charts on TipRanks)

Following the deal, H.C. Wainwright analyst Edward White reiterated a Buy rating on the stock with a price target of $23 (34.35% upside potential).

White said, “We remind investors that Dynavax currently has four collaborations in place that are focused on developing COVID-19 vaccines. We forecast CpG 1018 revenue of $314 million in 2021.”

Shares have skyrocketed almost 278% over the past year, while Wall Street analysts are still bullish on the stock. The Strong Buy consensus rating boasts of 4 unanimous Buys. The average Dynavax price target of $20.67 implies 20.74% upside potential to current levels.

Investors should always be aware of the risks involved in any stock. According to the new TipRanks’ Risk Factors tool, the Dynavax stock is at risk mainly from three factors: Finance and Corporate, Tech and Innovation, and Legal and Regulatory, which contribute 34%, 22% and 17%, respectively, to the total 41 risks identified. Under the Finance and Corporate risk category, DVAX has 41 risks, details of which can be found on the TipRanks website.

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