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Why Dynavax Technologies Stock Is Soaring Today

By Cory Renauer – Sep 22, 2021 at 12:42PM

Key Points

  • Dynavax Technologies' collaboration partner reported pivotal trial results with a COVID-19 vaccine that uses a proprietary adjuvant to make it more effective.
  • During the successful 30,000-person study, zero severe cases of COVID-19 were reported among volunteers randomized to receive the vaccine.

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A COVID-19 vaccine candidate that employs the company's adjuvant technology produced positive clinical trial results.

What happened

Shares of Dynavax Technologies (DVAX 1.25%) are on the move after the company's vaccine adjuvant was featured in a positive clinical trial readout. Investors excited about the results have pushed the biotech stock 26.6% higher as of 12:02 p.m. EDT on Wednesday. 

So what 

Today, Dynavax's collaboration partner, Clover Biopharmaceuticals, reported positive results from the pivotal Spectra trial with Clover's COVID-19 vaccine candidate, SCB-2019. This is a protein-based vaccine that employs a booster, or adjuvant, from Dynavax. 

Happy person raises hands in triumph.

Image source: Getty Images.

The Spectra trial enrolled over 30,000 adults in five countries spread across four continents. Clearly, delta and other variants of concern had already taken over when the trial enrolled volunteers. None of those who tested positive were infected with the original virus responsible for COVID-19.

Against the delta variant, SCB-2019 was 79% effective against COVID-19 of any severity. The stock would have risen much further, but overall efficacy was only 67% against COVID-19 infection of any variety.

Now what

Dynavax investors shouldn't be too disappointed with the relatively low overall efficacy rate. The more established vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer were tested before today's variants of concern had taken over. 

The Spectra trial with SCB-2019 is sponsored by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, or CEPI. This is one of the entities behind the Covax initiative to expand vaccine access worldwide. 

There's a good chance that Covax will pick up what Dynavax and Clover are putting down. None of the volunteers randomized to receive SCB-2019 were hospitalized or died from any COVID-19 variant.

Cory Renauer has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Moderna Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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