Crucell to Break Even with $200M Vaccine Contracts

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crucell Shares of Dutch biotech Crucell N.V. (CRXL) rose more than 2% in European trading as the company announced it had been awarded $200 million in contracts over the next 3 years by supranational organizations for its pediatric vaccines.

Quinvaxem and Hepavax-Gene vaccines will be made available to children in developing nations by the supranational organizations.

Quinvaxem is the first liquid vaccine to harbor antigens against some of the world's leading pediatric diseases including, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b. The vaccine was co-developed with Novartis (NVS) in Crucell's South African laboratories.
Hepavax-Gene is a recombinant hepatitis B vaccine that is on World Health Organization's [WHO] prequalified list of vaccines for active immunizations against the virus. It was introduced ten years ago and is made available in over 90 nations.

Crucell is expecting big numbers from this contract, as the company expects Quinvaxem to add significantly to the company's revenue numbers. The company also noted that it should achieve cash break even in 2007.

The $1.4 billion company currently holds over $230 in cash and $50 million in debt.

Crucell has been one of the better performing biotechs on the NASDAQ over the last 4 years as it was trading in the single digits back in 2003, and closed Thursday's trading at $24.12, near its 52-week high of $29.09.

source - Biotech, seeking alpha