Insights

Inside Our Impact Portfolio: Why We Invest in Dynavax Technologies

Miscellaneous Vaccine

Here’s a look at why we added Dynavax to our Genus Fossil Free High-Impact Fund

For the past several years, vaccines – and their makers – have dominated news headlines. Pharmaceutical company brand names have become as commonplace as the everyday brands we use at home. And more people than ever have become aware of the processes involved in vaccine development, testing and approval for use.  

The pharmaceutical sector has not only grown in terms of broad awareness over the past several years, it’s also grown in size and revenues. Valued at U.S. $405 billion in 2020, it’s expected to grow 11% annually until 2028 thanks to advances in technology, efficient manufacturing processes and investment flow. 

Dynavax breaks through on Hepatitis B

While it might not be a household name like Pfizer or AstraZeneca, Dynavax Technologies has grown to become a unique force in vaccine development since it launched in 1996 and went public in 2004, though its success was over 20 years in the making.

A biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development and commercialization of novel vaccines, Dynavax was co-founded by a professor emeritus at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. Its first vaccine – a hepatitis B shot that offers a stronger and longer-lasting immune response than its competitors against a virus with no known cure, was required by the FDA to conduct multiple rigorous clinical trials prior to its approval in 2018. Known as Heplisav-B, it became the first new hepatitis vaccine to be approved in the U.S. in more than 25 years, with results showing a significantly higher rate of protection from Hepatitis B than its main competitor.

Dynavax’s role in the pandemic response

As part of its Heplisav-B vaccine, Dynavax developed an adjuvant called CpG 1018, which is an ingredient added to vaccines to increase the body’s immune response. As part of its pandemic response, Dynavax has worked with Clover Biopharmaceuticals to provide its CpG 1018 adjuvant as an addition to its COVID vaccine in order to accelerate its development. 

The Clover vaccine recently reported positive efficacy results in its phase 2/3 global trial.

Why we invest in Dynavax

We added Dynavax to our impact fund in July of this year and “its performance has been amazing,” says Mike Thiessen, Chief Sustainability Officer. “At the beginning of the year, it’s stock price was under $5, and now it’s at $17, an amazing growth of 266%.”

Dynavax not only ticks the right financial score boxes, it also aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goal #3 – Good Health and Well-being, and it has a high Net Impact score – 99/100 (source: MSCI ESG Research). “It’s extremely high in both financial and impact scores,” Thiessen says.

With authorization for use of its Heplisav-B vaccine in the EU and the U.S., Dynavax shows the potential for $800 million annual market growth in the U.S., and its CpG 1018 supply contracts represent $300 to $400 million in revenue opportunity this year alone. 

To learn more about Dynavax and the other holdings in our impact funds, talk to a Genus advisor today.

Disclaimer – Genus Capital: This document was prepared for general information purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for specific professional advice. In particular, its contents are not Intended to be construed as the provision of investment, legal, accounting, tax or other professional advice or recommendations of any  kind, or to form the basis of any decision to do or to refrain from doing anything. As such, this document should not be relied upon for investment or other financial decisions  and no such decisions should be taken on the basis of its contents without seeking specific advice. This document is based on information available to Genus Capital  Management at the date of issue, and takes no account of subsequent developments after that date. In producing this document, Genus has relied upon the accuracy  and completeness of certain data and information obtained from third parties.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

Client impact

“Graduating from a big bank to Genus was one of the best financial steps we've ever taken. Genus has delivered reliable asset growth despite our moderate risk tolerance. As our financial security has grown, we've also been the beneficiaries of a great client experience. The company's communications have been consistently transparent and informative, including educational webinars and a well-designed web portal where we can track investments daily. Most importantly to us, our portfolio manager has always responded swiftly and thoroughly to our questions and requests. ”
Martin T.
"Having relatively diverse financial goals and needs, along with a slight reticence regarding the stock market, Genus skillfully addressed all of our concerns, and put together a truly exceptional plan: Fossil free funds and a diversified investment portfolio, check; An effective Impact investment portfolio that coincides with our hopes and dreams for a better world, check; Professional advice and assistance to create a donor advised charitable fund with immediate charitable receipts for tax purposes, check. Returns? Way beyond our expectations! We even had some fun along the way and certainly enjoyed an incredible two-year start to what will be a satisfying long-term relationship with Genus."
Marc B.
“I love the service I get at Genus.”
Chris H.
“Leslie and I were fellow board members when we met twenty years ago. For the last ten she has been thoughtful in the construction of an investment strategy for my family and is executing the strategy as planned. The team at Genus has met my expectations and are a pleasure to deal with.”
Bob Q.
“For over 15 years, I have provided selection and performance evaluation of multiple investment managers for a significant family office. Leslie and Genus have been foundational for me in my role. I have always found Leslie and her colleagues to be insightful and proactive, and found the performance of their portion of the portfolio to be well above benchmarks. And they have been a great pleasure to work with.”
Douglas H.
“Genus is a very innovative firm. I am pleased to invest in their Fossil Free and Impact strategies that help me invest in line with my values.”
Marnie C.
“Great team of professionals. Excellent website and reporting. Responds to inquiries promptly. Very pleased with the process of changing from another company to Genus as well. Kudos.”
David L.
“Genus consistently provides a good, clearly explained, comprehensive picture of the general economic and financial situation, along with an excellent account of the investment decisions made in relation to this. Genus’ equally strong concern with clients’ questions and requests for further information is also a very important part of the service it provides.”
Allan S.
“Back in 1992 when I found myself at fifty with a substantial amount of money to invest, I knew just one thing — that I didn’t want to contribute to tobacco companies, arms manufacturers, or oil. But over the ensuing years the options for socially responsible investing have become far more sophisticated and I’m very happy that this is a big part of the Genus approach. I also very much appreciate the long-term relationship with my portfolio manager, Mary Lou.”
Ann P.

As seen in

Are you ready to make an impact
with your investments
?