Adagio shares soar on antibody potential against new COVID variant omicron
Stifel analyst Stephen Willey believes vaccines alone are unlikely to sufficiently address the COVID-19 pandemic
Omicron, the heavily mutated coronavirus variant, has yet to be linked to any deaths, but multiple cases are starting to be reported outside South Africa where it was first identified as B.1.1.529. The World Health Organization believes this COVID variant is likely to spread further, posing a "very high" global risk. Current evidence suggests that the omicron COVID-19 variant may have higher transmissibility than previous variants and is likely to become dominant in the short-term, which should increase demand for antibodies that can neutralize the variant, Morgan Stanley analyst Matthew Harrison argued. The analyst upgraded Adagio Therapeutics (ADGI) to Overweight as he believes its ADG20 remains highly effective at neutralizing omicron and also possesses other "preferable characteristics" versus current leading antibodies, including those from Eli Lilly (LLY) and Regeneron (REGN).
BUY ADAGIO AS OMICRON EMERGES: Morgan Stanley analyst Matthew Harrison upgraded Adagio Therapeutics to Overweight from Equal Weight with a price target of $49, up from $33, noting that current evidence suggests that the omicron COVID-19 variant may have higher transmissibility than previous variants and is likely to become a new dominant variant in the short-term. The high transmissibility, once confirmed, should increase demand for antibodies which can neutralize the variant, but current leading antibodies, including those from Eli Lilly and Regeneron, are compromised by omicron, said Harrison. However, Adagio's ADG20 remains highly effective at neutralizing omicron and also possesses other "preferable characteristics," including coverage of multiple variants, Harrison tells investors. He has added 4M doses of government stockpiling for Adagio's ADG20 in 2022 to his projections and now forecasts about $1.8B in sales, Harrison noted.
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