Applied DNA Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: APDN) is the newest company to see a big boost riding the coronavirus wave. In a sense, the company is getting into the vaccine business.
The company announced Wednesday that it has completed design qualification, production and shipment of five COVID-19 vaccine candidates to Italy-based Takis Biotech to support preclinical animal testing that will begin immediately.
Note that Applied DNA and Takis make clear that no commercial partner has been identified to take the coronavirus vaccine candidates to market, nor is there any indication that the company’s applications to U.S. Food and Drug Administration or equivalent foreign regulatory agencies would be approved for the vaccine or COVID-19 diagnostic.
Dr. Luigi Aurisicchio, CEO and CSO of Takis Biotech, commented:
Preliminary animal test results from the plasmid-based vaccine templates, from which Applied DNA’s linear DNA-based vaccine constructs were manufactured at scale, were immunogenic and induced a strong production of antibodies across all five vaccine candidates. Our next step is to utilize these LinearDNA candidates to inoculate mice whose sera will be tested for the presence of antibodies that bind to purified Spike protein. The Spike protein is the most abundant protein on the surface of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease, COVID-19, and is the means of binding to and entering into human host cells. Those positive candidates whose antibodies bind to Spike will be tested for their ability to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 by preventing uptake of the virus in cells in culture and in animal models.
Shares of Applied DNA surged by over 90% on Wednesday, but this has ebbed after the open. The company only had a market cap of roughly $16 million before this move, and now it is sitting at $21.5 million.
Applied DNA stock was last seen up 39% at $6.34, in a 52-week range of $2.52 to $33.60. The consensus price target is $8.00.