Dynavax Technologies Corp.
shares surged 88% in premarket trade Monday after a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee said the safety data for its hepatitis B vaccination supported its approval. The advisory committee voted 12 to 1 on the safety data, with three members abstaining from the vote. A previous advisory committee voted 13 to 1 in favor of the vaccine’s ability to promote an immune response. On Monday, Dynavax was upgraded to overweight at J.P. Morgan with a $27 price target and upgraded to outperform at RBC Capital Markets with a $26 price target. Hepatitis B can cause a chronic disease that can lead to liver damage, liver cancer and death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hepatitis B vaccines already exist, but current ones consist of three doses over six months, while Dynavax’s HEPLISAV-B vaccine is two doses over a month, the company said. An FDA decision about approval of the vaccine is expected by August 10, and the company said that if its vaccine is approved it will seek a recommendation from the CDC’s immunization practices advisory committee. Dynavax said it plans a commercial launch of the vaccine in early 2018 “on its own or through a commercial partner.” Dynavax shares have surged 66.7% to $9.25 over the last three months, compared with a 3.7% rise in the S&P 500