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Home » Popular Markets » Equities » Faron Pharmaceuticals: can this AIM-listed Finnish biotech rise to the COVID challenge?

Faron Pharmaceuticals [LSE:FARN/ HEL:FARON] is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel treatments for medical conditions with significant unmet needs caused by dysfunction of the immune system. It currently has a pipeline based on receptors involved in regulation of the immune response in oncology, organ damage and bone marrow regeneration.

Founded in 2006, Faron is an enterprise owned and backed by the Jalkanen family in Finland. Dr Markku Jalkanen had his wife Dr Sirpa Jalkanen have been biotech researchers in the US, working there in the 1980s at Stanford University. Since returning to Finland both professors have gathered excellent international research resources and funding to their base at Bio City in the University of Turku.

Is Faron Pharmaceuticals the real deal?

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The only question now is just how close Faron Pharmaceuticals is to finding the cures humankind needs? This company is also considered the legacy of the Jalkanen family with proceeds being invested in a trust to continue to serve the needs of mankind in the future.

Faron Pharmaceuticals listed its ordinary shares on AIM on 15 November 2015 and on NASDAQ First Growth on 3 December 2019. Its market cap is around €210m. The trading range for the shares hit an all time high of GBX 874.83 in February 2018. An all time low occurred in February 2019 when shares traded at GBX 52.99. Stock closed at GBX 380 at time of writing.

On the NASDAQ Helsinki, Faron shares have been trading in a range of around €2.52-6.16. Faron Pharmaceuticals shares dropped dramatically following widening annual losses and disappointing results in from a respiratory drug trial.

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Who owns Faron Pharmaceuticals?

Faron’s largest shareholder is Timo Syrjälä, who owns both direct and indirect shareholdings via Acme Investment SPF, an entity which he wholly controls. Syrjälä is a well-known Finnish investor who has successfully exited several local companies with large profits after their sale to international companies. He owns 14.09% of the company.

The total Faron float is 50,457,874 shares in total, with 44% nominee registered. The only analyst currently following the stock is surprisingly Swedish entity Swedbank, with a target price of €5.5.

This time things may be different. Covid-19 has redefined the nature of the world we are living in. Dr Jalkanen and his team believe there is no going back now. There will be more variants of Covid to deal with, and more viruses to come in the future. Unfortunately the future does indeed look bright for virology research.

Funding for Faron is solid: it enjoys loans and grants from Business Finland, Finnvera, the European Innovation Council MAGIF Project and the US Department of Defense.

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Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Raine Lahtinen

Raine Lahtinen

Raine Lahtinen has spent over 25 years in wealth management and trading. His active investment days started when he attended University of Miami 1987-1991 majoring in International Finance and Marketing. He has experienced the highs and lows of the stock markets since the 1987 crash, Dot.com bubble 2001-2002, the 2008 financial crisis and the current record breaking rally.

Since 1995, Raine has been based in Brussels, Belgium in Continental Europe as an international financial advisor and director of investments in various UK IFA firms. He has written many popular columns about markets and investments during his professional life. His passion is finding undervalued listed stocks. As a Finnish native he specializes on Nordic and US stocks.

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