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Akers Biosciences down on early data on COVID-19 vaccine candidate

August 27, 2020

Nano cap Akers Biosciences (AKER -28.1%) slumps on more than a 5x surge in volume in reaction to proof-of-concept data from animal studies assessing the safety and immunogenicity of its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate, dubbed PRAK3202, that it is co-developing with Premas Biotech.

The company says the vaccine was well-tolerated and induced a robust immune response to the three coronavirus antigens, S, E and M, adding that the vaccine elicited neutralizing antibody titers across all doses levels (5, 10, 20 mcg). After three doses all 10 cohorts of mice showed binding antibody levels similar to convalescent plasma.

Investors appear to be reacting to the absence of more compelling data since the companies significantly lag the leaders whose candidates are in or are about to enter Phase 3 studies. For example, three doses to achieve antibody levels on par with convalescent plasma implies that one or two doses, the regimens that will be the standard for commercialized vaccines, failed to achieve the desired effect.

By comparison, VBI Vaccines just reported that its candidates produced 10x higher binding antibody titers and 4x higher neutralizing antibody titers after one dose (jumped to 64x after the second dose).

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