This biotech stock could double from here: Goldman Sachs

Vir Biotechnology Inc (NASDAQ: VIR) jumped nearly 10% this morning after a Goldman Sachs analyst turned super bullish on the clinical-stage immunology company.

Vir stock has upside to $53 a share

On Tuesday, Paul Choi upgraded the biotech stock to “buy” and raised his price target significantly to $53 that represents about a 100% upside from here.

The bullish call is based primarily on VIR-2482 – the company’s new, more potent vaccine for flu. His research note reads:

VIR will report VIR-2482 data in mid-2023, which we expect to show meaningfully better efficacy than currently approved and rival pipeline-stage flu vaccines and drive material upward revisions to consensus estimates.

The Goldman Sachs analyst dubbed Vir stock a compelling risk-reward now that it’s been cut in more than half over the pasts 24 months.

How is VIR-2482 different than rivals?

VIR-2482 targets the Influenza Hemagglutinin (HA) stem that would potentially help sustain its efficacy in flu season every year since the said region is highly conserved. Choi added:

While previous antibody challenge studies have failed, modifications to VIR-2482 that result in increased potency (ADCC) and a longer half-life should provide sufficient serum coverage well above EC90 over a flu season.

The Nasdaq-listed firm is expected to lose 4 cents a share this quarter – well below $3.92 per share it “earned” a year ago. It’s scheduled to report its quarterly results later this week.

But the Goldman Sachs analyst remains convinced that the new vaccine could unlock a post-COVID rally in the Vir stock in the coming months.