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Why Dynavax Stock Is Jumping Today

By Keith Speights - Dec 11, 2020 at 11:42AM

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The company's hepatitis B vaccine received good news in Europe.

What happened

Shares of Dynavax Technologies ( DVAX 2.20% ) are jumping today, up 7.5% as of 11:23 a.m. EST, after the company announced that the European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) recommended approval for hepatitis B vaccine Heplisav-B.

So what

CHMP's positive recommendation is great news for Dynavax because it bodes well for the company's prospects of winning European approval for Heplisav-B. The hepatitis B vaccine has been on the market in the U.S. since 2017. 

Senior adult receiving a vaccine shot

Image source: Getty Images.

So far this year, Heplisav-B has generated U.S. sales of more than $26 million. The European Union's population is roughly 35% bigger than the U.S. population. Should Heplisav-B go on to win EU approval, Dynavax's potential market will increase dramatically.

Vaccination for hepatitis B is also arguably more critical than ever before. More than 250 million people have been infected by hepatitis B globally, with transmission of the virus increasing. It is at least 50 times more infectious than HIV. 

Now what

While Dynavax's shares enjoyed a big pop today, the momentum for the biotech stock might not be over. The European Commission is now set to review the CHMP recommendation for Heplisav-B. A decision on approval for the vaccine is expected in the first quarter of 2021.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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