A $1 Million Shot In The Arm

It was another week of anemic insider buying activity, summer doldrums for sure.

That means, there wasn’t a lot to choose from on last week’s roster. So, we went with an insider that built on an already winning position. An old mentor used to tell young brokers to, “buy more of your winners and sell your losers.” Like Popeye when rescuing Olive Oyl from drowning, out with the bad and in with the good.

Last week, VBI Vaccines Inc. (VBIV) director Steven Gillis added to the good. He bought 609,090 shares of VBIV at $1.65 for an investment north of $1 million. The million bucks added to $5 million the director invested in 2019 at $0.50 per share. (1)

VBI is a biopharmaceutical company driven by immunology in the pursuit of powerful prevention and treatment of disease. Through its innovative approach to virus-like particles (“VLPs”), including a proprietary enveloped VLP (“eVLP”) platform technology, VBI develops vaccine candidates that mimic the natural presentation of viruses, designed to elicit the innate power of the human immune system. VBI is committed to targeting and overcoming significant infectious diseases, including hepatitis B, COVID-19 and coronaviruses, and cytomegalovirus (“CMV”), as well as aggressive cancers including glioblastoma (“GBM”).

According to MarketResearch.com, “The global Virus-Like Particles (VLP’s) Market was valued at USD 4.6 Billion in 2022 and it is anticipated to grow up to USD 8.9 Billion by 2032, at a CAGR of 6.8% during the forecast period.” (2)

Wall Street appears to believe that VBI Vaccines could benefit from industry trends sooner than later. Analysts have a one-year price target of $4.00 on the vaccine maker. (3) VBIV trades at $1.43 as of the close of business on July 21, 2023 and traded between $1.08 and $40.50 in the last 52 weeks.

VBI Vaccines’ price will not be driven by earnings as the emerging biotech is expected to lose money for the foreseeable future. Revenue will be primarily dependent on deals they make with larger firms, as they have with the likes of Brii Biosciences Limited; GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals S.A.; and the National Research Council of Canada.

The biggest moves will likely be news driven as treatments in their pipeline make their way through the approval process. VBI currently has one product on market (PreHevbrio for Hepatitis B) and a half-dozen others early in the FDA’s trials. (4)

OVERALL: VBI Vaccines Inc. (VBIV) is speculative, as evidenced by its fall from $40.50 to a buck within a year. However, the company currently has a book value of $5.23 per share and sits on $4.69 per share in cash. (5) The cash and the pipeline could make VBIV a potential takeover target. Director Steven Gillis’ seven-figure commitment could be a hint that he sees value at this level.

VBI Vaccines is highly risky and only appropriate for the most aggressive investors with a time horizon of at least two years, maybe more.

Rich Meyers


1 – https://www.secform4.com/insider-trading/1229592.htm

2 – https://www.marketresearch.com/Global-Insight-Services-v4248/Virus-Particles-VLP-Forecast-Product-33622401/

3 – https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/VBIV?p=VBIV&.tsrc=fin-srch

4 – https://www.vbivaccines.com/our-pipeline/

5 – https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/VBIV/key-statistics?p=VBIV