The medical world has made several strides over the last decade. In a breaking development, Revivicor did the first-ever successful pig heart transplant on a human being. Does the company have stock and can you invest in it?
Revivicor is a regenerative medicine company that's working to develop human-compatible organs and tissues. There's a global shortage of organ donors and many precious lives get lost due to that. Cathie Wood of ARK Invest is among those who see genomics as the next big industry. While her themes have underperformed badly over the last year, she deserves credit for identifying disruptors like Tesla and Block (previously known as Square) early.
Revivicor is a pig heart transplant company.
The FDA granted “compassionate access” approval to transplant a pig heart in patient David Bennett, who was suffering from life-threatening heart disease and had exhausted all of his options. The FDA provided a one-time EUA (emergency use authorization) for the transplant after evaluating the specifics of the particular case.
The pig was genetically modified and had a total of 10 modifications, including inactivation of the growth gene so that the heart doesn't grow after the implant. The transplant was done on Jan. 7 at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore and was led by Bartley Griffith, M.D.
Speaking with The New York Times, Griffith said “We are thrilled, but we don’t know what tomorrow will bring us. This has never been done before.” However, he added, “It’s working, and it looks normal.”
Revivicor is a fully owned subsidiary of United Therapeutics.
Revivicor isn't publicly traded on its own. It’s a fully owned subsidiary of United Therapeutics, which traders can find under the ticker symbol “UTHR.” If you want to invest in Revivicor, you can buy UTHR stock, which would give you exposure to Revivicor. In 2021, UTHR changed its legal status to a “Public Benefit Corporation.”
United Therapeutics stock rose after the successful pig heart transplant. The stock is up almost 25 percent over the last year and has risen at a CAGR of 15.2 percent over the last 10 years. The company has a market cap of $9.3 billion and is trading close to its 52-week highs.
UTHR stock has an NTM (next-12 month) PE multiple of 12.8x. Analysts are also bullish on the company and it has nine buys and only one sell rating. Its median target price of $240 implies an upside potential of 16.2 percent over the current prices.
Some people question science versus morality.
The medical community at large is rejoicing the first-ever successful pig heart transplant. Dr. David Klassen, the chief medical officer of the United Network for Organ Sharing, termed it a “watershed event.” However, he cautioned that there could be many hurdles before such surgeries can be done at scale and pointed that even human organ implants don’t always succeed.
There's also the question of morality and a section of the society doesn't support animal organ transplants in humans. In an apparent reference to criticism of such transplants, Klassen said, “Events like these can be dramatized in the press, and it’s important to maintain perspective.”
Coming back to Revivicor, it only has about 30 employees but it's looking to add more people. It's also opening a facility in Virginia to raise genetically modified pigs.