Was This Early-Stage Biotech Company Right All Along?

  • Edge Editorial Team

    At Edge Investments, we make investing in small cap stocks enjoyable and edge-ucational. We are here to teach you about investing, keep you up to date on news, and help connect you with companies that you may have a desire to invest in.

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There have been some cases of a rare heart condition developing after receipt of the COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech

According to a report today that was submitted to the Israeli Ministry of Health, somewhere between 1 in 3000 and 1 in 6000 men between the ages of 16-24 were found to have developed inflammation in the heart muscle. The name of this condition? Myocarditis.

The majority of cases resolve themselves after a few weeks, which luckily is a typical outcome for myocarditis. So typical in fact, that a pediatrician and bioethicist at Seattle Children’s Hospital by the name of Douglas Diekema has stated “I can’t imagine it’s going to be anything that would cause medical people to say we shouldn’t vaccinate kids.”

This issue first surfaced in April, when more than 60 cases of myocarditis were reported in (primarily) young men, who had received their 2nd dose of the vaccine a few days prior. 

European Medicines Agency Officials reported 107 cases of myocarditis in May from about 175,000 doses administered. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Defense had begun to review and track myocarditis cases, with 14 reportings of the side-effect occurring in April. 

Although the debate on whether to continue to vaccinate the youth is still up in the air, Diekema doesn’t seem too concerned. 

“From a parent’s perspective, this really comes down to risk perception, assessment of the data,” says Diekema, who has studied risk-benefit trade-offs. Even if a link between myocarditis and the vaccine holds up, the condition is usually mild, requiring treatment only with anti-inflammatory drugs, whereas COVID-19 infection can also cause serious disease and long-term side effects, even in young people. As suspicion has percolated about a possible connection, “I don’t know many physicians who are changing their minds about vaccinating their kids,” Diekema says.

The CDC Gets Involved 

While the American Heart & Stroke Associations are still urging all adults and children aged 12 and older to the receive the vaccine, as per the CDC’s recommendations, the CDC has opened an investigation on the cases.

Leaders of the American Heart & Stroke Association gave a consolidated statement:

“As also reported by the CDC earlier this week, research continues to indicate that the COVID-19 vaccines are 91% effective at preventing severe COVID-19 infection. We remain confident that the benefits of vaccination far exceed the very unusual risks. The risks of COVID-19 infection include its potentially fatal consequences and the potential long-term health effects that are still revealing themselves, including lingering consequences affecting the heart, brain, vascular system and other organs after infection.

“Myocarditis can be the consequence of a recent viral infection, and it is yet to be determined if these cases have any correlation to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, especially since the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the U.S. do not contain any live virus. The AHA will be attending the CDC’s meeting on June 18, 2021, to review the latest evidence on the cases of suspected myocarditis after the COVID-19 vaccine.”

While myocarditis remains a risk to those diagnosed with COVID-19, the live virus remains absent from the mRNA technology of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines. Due to this, the CDC and Ontario have been closely monitoring any reported cases while continuing to deploy vaccine doses.

Although the investigation is not entirely conclusive yet, the following data was found regarding these cases.

  • As of June 11, 2021, the CDC reports that more than 306 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the U.S. since December 14, 2020, and nearly 43% of Americans (more than 142 million) are fully vaccinated (i.e., they have received either two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine).
  • 789 cases of suspected myocarditis have been reported, of which 475 cases are reported in people under the age of 30.
  • 79 cases of suspected myocarditis/pericarditis were reported in teens 16 or 17 years old.v
  • 81% of the 270 patients younger than age 30 discharged from care after suspected myocarditis related to COVID-19 vaccination have had a full recovery, and the remaining 19% of cases report ongoing symptoms or complete data is missing.
  • 196 cases of suspected myocarditis after a COVID-19 vaccine were reported among young adults ages 18-24. This incidence of myocarditis is higher than expected for this age group.
  • As of May 31, 2021, only approximately 9% of the COVID-19 vaccine doses administered were among those aged 16-24, thus why this higher-than-normal rate of myocarditis cases warrants investigation.

Whether stemming from a COVID-19 infection or a vaccine, myocarditis is a condition that we have touched upon several times this year, as its presence in those affected with COVID-19 that are at risk of, or who have pre-existing inflammatory heart conditions, can be potentially deadly.

Why Have We Been Writing About Myocarditis? 

Because this biotechnology company we have been watching for a year now has been researching and developing a cannabidiol-based drug in the hopes of treating inflammatory heart conditions, just like myocarditis. 

CardiolRx™ was created to aid in cardiovascular inflammation relief, specifically heart failure. While this condition occurs in many citizens of the U.S. (the annual bill for heart failure is around US$30,000,000,000), it has said to be especially dangerous in those suffering from a COVID-19 infection. 

Cardiol Therapeutics (CANADA: CRDL) (U.S.: CRTPF) (EUROPE: CT9) is undergoing a Phase 2/3 clinical trial to investigate how CardiolRx can help patients who are unfortunate enough to end up in the hospital due to COVID-19 and are afflicted by, or at risk of, heart inflammation. 

Due to recent news, it seems the number of potential patients that can benefit from the effects of CardiolRx has grown, morphing this little-known orphan condition into one that’s making international headlines. 

The last thing vaccine companies want is further complications from myocarditis tainting their rollout. Solutions to curb any possible negative outcome due to vaccinations comes right alongside the need to protect the hearts of those at cardiovascular risk due to actual COVID-19 infections. 

We know that the messenger RNA technology that is used in the Pfizer/Moderna vaccines simply teaches your body how to fight off COVID-19; however, the absence of the actual virus and the presence of myocarditis are still causing many to scratch their heads. 

Either way, we feel Cardiol Therapeutics may be positioned to provide a lot of value to this current situation. 

Disclaimer: Cardiol Therapeutics is a communications client of Edge Investments, and we own shares in the company.   

  • Edge Editorial Team

    At Edge Investments, we make investing in small cap stocks enjoyable and edge-ucational. We are here to teach you about investing, keep you up to date on news, and help connect you with companies that you may have a desire to invest in.

    View all posts

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