Shares of Dynavax Technologies (NASDAQ:DVAX) were vaulting 7.2% higher as of 11:44 a.m. EST on Thursday. The big jump came after the biotech announced results from an ongoing clinical study evaluating hepatitis B vaccine Heplisav-B in patients undergoing hemodialysis.
As you might have guessed, Dynavax had good news from the clinical trial. The company reported a seroprotection rate (a measure of the production of antibodies that can protect against infection) of 89.3% for a four-dose regimen of Heplisav-B after 20 weeks. Dynavax also stated that interim safety data showed that its vaccine was well tolerated, with no safety issues observed in the study.
The positive results could bode well for Heplisav-B in immunizing patients on hemodialysis. With the current standard of care, patients must receive up to eight injections. Dynavax's four-dose regimen could have a competitive advantage. Heplisav-B won approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2017 for preventing hepatitis B infection in adults ages 18 and over.
Dynavax doesn't expect to report full safety data from the study of Heplisav-B in dialysis patients until the end of this year. There could be a potential catalyst for the biotech stock sooner, though: Dynavax hopes to win European approval for Heplisav-B in the first half of 2021.