Morgan Stanley: Omicron will benefit this relatively new biotech firm

By:
on Nov 29, 2021
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  • Adagio says Omicron is unlikely to escape its monoclonal antibody ADG20.
  • CEO Gerngross discussed goals and prospects on CNBC's "The Exchange".
  • Morgan Stanley's Harrison upgraded ADGI and raised his price target to $49.

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Adagio Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: ADGI) was up more than 75% on Monday after the biotech firm said Omicron was unlikely to be more resistant against its investigational monoclonal antibody, ADG20, despite a record number of mutations.

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Morgan Stanley raised its price target on ADGI

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The stock further got a boost as Morgan Stanley upgraded it from “equal weight” to “overweight” and raised the price target to $49. The massive rally already pushed the stock up to nearly $47 today.

In his note, analyst Matthew Harrison compared Adagio with rivals Eli Lilly and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and said ADG20 had a “stronger profile” against all COVID variants of concern, including Omicron.

He also likes Adagio because its antibody offers more lasting immunity. According to the Nasdaq-listed company, a single dose of ADG20 protects against the Coronavirus for up to one year.  

Highlights from CEO Gerngross’ interview with CNBC

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On CNBC’s “The Exchange”, CEO Tillman Gerngross said Adagio sees a role for its antibody not only in the treatment of COVID-19 but also in its prevention, particularly for people not responding to vaccines.

Unlike vaccines that elicit an immune response, which doesn’t happen if you’re immunocompromised, our drug upon administration will be there for up to a year and offer protection – a key difference that makes it suitable for prevention on top of treatment.

The Massachusetts headquartered company expects to seek emergency use authorisation for ADG20 in the back half of 2022. Interestingly, Dr Gerngross is confident that other players, including Pfizer and Moderna, are not a threat to Adagio in terms of market share.

The problem with Pfizer or Moderna trying to modify their vaccines for Omicron is, by the time you’re able to broadly deploy the new vaccines, there’s likely going to be another variant. So, I’m not sure that it’s a credible strategy.

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