This is a work in progress and I have found blogger to not allow things to go smoothly. I am not sure how polished I will get this but I need to start typing as I go.
Vaccine approval process article with links to follow at the end: http://www.path.org/publications/files/VAC_understanding_fs.pdf
Academic paper expounding on above: http://faculty.washington.edu/peterg/papers/HudgensGilbertSelfSMMR.pdf
Slidshare on approval process: http://www.slideshare.net/rwmalonemd/Clinical-Vaccine-Development-Introduction
Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virus-like_particle
I am mainly interested in a company called Novavax, first came to light years ago when I got stung in bird flu hysteria. Like a dog to vomit I have watched this pile and have an increased interest. I have spent some time reading a lot of their site and publications, think I have written about them before. I am reading further on competitors. It seems like a lot of companies have similar technologies, I have not seen discussions on why one company might be better than another. What I do see is that Fidelity owns 15% of NVAX, though it is only a 303M market cap company which means they have invested only 45 M.
NVAX: Long history in business. Partnered with GE, Cadila in India, LG in South Korea. Barda-Path help with funding. Many things in pipeline. Uses fall army worm. I am not sure of the benefit of using an insect compared to a plant or even an egg. Market seems large for RSV (all newborns), and anything flue related (they estimate growing market from 3.6 B now to 4.7B in 10 years).
Medicago MDCGF in Canadian smaller capped company that works with VLP in tobacco plants. 4 weeks to testable product. Has a RTP NC office, I need to go visit. Seems smaller scale with fewer candidates. Very thinly traded OTC, like 15K shares a day. SP report here: http://solutions.standardandpoors.com/NASApp/WS/EntryServlet?pc=IVS&tracking=IVSMEDICAGO_INC&auth=userA&pagename=encrStockReportPDF&company=116138171134164074121236231068161220198195146032
Ligocyte has been purchased by Takeda for 60M, not traded, main candidate is for norovirus/gastroenteritis. Not a big market but others think if you get sick from norov you will get the vaccine.
Oxford Expression Technologies: UK based provider of training and supplies. private
VLP Biotech: private, service company with hints of future vaccines from 2010
Technovax-private VLP developer that has not started testing yet.
VLP vaccine note: I had naively thought this was brand new technology but it already has safe accepted products on the market. The two HPV vaccines marketed to young teens are from VLP.
I like NVAX for now, expect they could be a multibagger if they win first arrival advantage or get bought out. It can take many years for this and I am willing to wait. JAZZ and DNDN are examples of what can happen with smaller captive market hysteria, and VLP could be larger captive market. It is tough to arrive at target price. I recall that a company might be worth 4-10x yearly sales. So if they captured just 1B of potential vaccine market, market cap could be 4B for share price of $26.6, without any other vaccines being approved and without accounting for over exhuberance. RSV vaccine could add more as there are nearly 4M births per year in the U.S.