Norwegian biotech company Ultimovacs has had an impressive journey since its listing in June 2019. On the first trading day, the stock was trading for NOK 31. On Thursday, the stock surged above 13 percent to a closing price of 110.8 NOK.
In just over two years, the stake has risen to over 250 percent, and the company is currently valued at NOK 3.5 billion.
An important shareholder in the company, which is referred to as one of the most successful biotech companies in Norway, is investor Bjørn Rune Gjelsten. Through Gjelsten Holding, he owns about 19.3 percent of the shares in the company and is thus the largest owner before Stein’s Canica investment firm Erik Hagen.
Together, the two investors own shares worth about NOK 964 million in the company. The paper value of these collectibles has risen sharply in the past two weeks.
More specifically, Ultimovacs is working to develop a potential cancer vaccine, and is led by the three researchers Gustav Gaudernack, Anne-Marie Rasmussen and Else Marit Inderberg Suso at Oslo University Hospital. All three have been working on cancer vaccines since 1993.
Studies with cancer patients began in 2010, and clarifications are expected in larger studies in the next two years. But on August 11, the company was able to report a “positive development” in the first phase of the vaccine, which has been dubbed UV1.
In the report, the company wrote that the other test group gave “enhanced indications of clinical response.” The vaccine works in a way that strengthens the immune system’s ability to attack cancer cells and, according to the company, can have an effect on most forms of cancer.
The big picture is that the UV1 formulation has a strong safety profile and has consistently shown high levels of clinical response to mole cancer. The latest data is further evidence that UV1 is safe and can mobilize the immune system in treating tumors, Ultimovacs’ chief of medicine said in the report.
“The market hasn’t appreciated this yet”
Analyst Adam Carlson at ABG Sundal Collier has no doubts that this particular message is the reason for the recent price increase. UV1’s data looks promising, and it is believed that many investors opened their eyes to the company after the announcement.
He notes, among other things, that the company has several candidate vaccines in the “pipeline.”
The company will soon conduct four different phase 2 studies for different forms of cancer. After the announcement, we think more people have really opened their eyes to what the company has been working on over the past year. The analyst says the market hasn’t really appreciated this yet.
At the same time, Carlson stresses, Ultimovacs are far from transmitting UV1 to the masses.
– They should prepare Phase II studies for the UV1 vaccine, which are expected to be conducted at the end of next year. After that, there will likely be larger Phase III studies. UV1 will likely hit the market around 2026/2027, unless you can point to very good test results and thus speed up approval, he says.
227 million richer on paper
Since August 11, the stock is up nearly 50 percent and has only had three trading days with a decline in the same period.
For the large owners Gjelsten and Hagen, this means that their stakes in the company have increased significantly in value:
- At the close of trading on August 11, Gjelsten shares were worth about NOK 456 million. At the time of closing in Børsen on Thursday, it was worth about NOK 683 million.
- On the other hand, Hagen’s shares were worth about NOK 187 million two weeks ago, and today their paper value is around NOK 280 million.
On an individual level, they made paper earnings of around NOK 227 and NOK 93 million, respectively.
In addition to two notable shopkeepers, there are also many other well-known names in the list of Ultimovacs contributors.
The Sundt family owns just over two percent of the stock. Director Jan Peter Sisseners Sissener was also listed at the beginning of the month with a stake of just over one per cent.
In addition, it also appears Autostore founder Jacob Hatland and investor Torstein Tvenge with smaller items.
“Forget the money”
To DN earlier this year Tell Gjelsten about investing in Ultimovacs. He joined the company in a big way when his father fell ill, and provided funding to professor and researcher Gustav Goodernick and his team at Radiumhospitalet, who filed a patent application for a cancer vaccine in 2010.
By that time, entrepreneurs had already been looking for investors for more than a year. Several trials have begun on patients with prostate and lung cancer, and Ultimovacs was founded in 2011.
Gjelsten has invested about NOK 90 million in Ultimovacs – NOK 30 million in maternity care and has been involved in all of the capital increases since then. Gelsten then said that future gains were not the motivation to become the main owner of the company, as he was also a member of the board of directors until last year.
– He’s very emotional. Forget the money, he said.(Terms)Copyright Dagens Næringsliv AS and/or our suppliers. We would like you to share our cases using a link that leads directly to our pages. All or part of the Content may not be copied or otherwise used with written permission or as permitted by law. For additional terms look here.
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