Ultra-Cold Freezer Makers To Profit From Covid-19 Vaccine Rush

Written by on November 21, 2020

Misplaced in all the thrill in regards to the Covid-19 vaccine candidates searching for emergency FDA approval is a big logistical problem — the dearth of a chilly chain to distribute the vaccine from the place it’s made to the place it’s injected.

A important a part of fixing this logistical problem is making sufficient ultra-cold freezers to maintain the vaccine at beneath zero temperatures throughout that journey.

This creates funding alternatives for public and private-equity buyers.

Public-equity buyers ought to check out the publicly-traded makers of those ultra-cold freezers — together with Thermo Fisher Scientific

and Avantor. They need to additionally contemplate logistics firms that present temperature managed shipments — comparable to Cryoport, McKesson and UPS.

Since none of those are pure play maker of ultra-cold freezers, maybe the largest beneficiaries of demand for ultra-cold freezers would be the privately held freezer makers — comparable to Helmer Scientific, Stirling Ultracold, PHC, and So-Lo.

Nevertheless, these firms are probably constrained in assembly the demand by an absence of capital. Maybe personal fairness corporations needs to be circling these firms to offer them the capital they should scale operations to fulfill the spike in demand.

Covid-19 Vaccine Should Be Shipped Under-Zero

Vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer

are extremely efficient — 94.5% and 95%, respectively, in line with the New York Occasions


Each vaccines have to be stored chilly. As I wrote November 16, The Pfizer vaccine have to be saved and transported at minus 94 Fahrenheit; whereas the temperature of Moderna’s vaccine is a comparatively balmy minus Four levels Fahrenheit.

Moderna’s vaccine additionally has an extended shelf life. Moderna’s is 30 days (versus seven which they beforehand thought). And the Moderna vaccine can final 12 hours at room temperature. Pfizer’s vaccine has a shorter shelf life — after it’s thawed, it may be saved refrigerated for as much as 5 days.

$2.1 Billion Extremely-Chilly Freezer Market

An ultra-cold freezer is crucial for maintaining the vaccine that chilly whereas it travels from the manufacturing facility to the place it’s injected into individuals.

The worldwide ultra-low temperature freezers market is predicted to develop at a 5.67% compound annual fee from $1.Four billion to about $2.1 billion in 2027, in line with July 2020 Market Analysis Future report.

The report notes that demand has elevated due to the necessity to retailer temperature-sensitive organic merchandise storage. New alternatives have been opened up because of the “presence of main healthcare producers, R&D amenities, and rising healthcare spending,” famous the report.

I’m guessing that scramble for ultra-cold freezers to move Covid-19 vaccine will speed up that demand will above 5.67%.

Whereas vaccine effectiveness and security are essentially the most important issues for officers attempting to handle the vaccination course of, adequate provide and distribution logistics turn out to be prime issues as soon as these first two checks are handed.

Biotech firm Inovio’s CEO Joseph Kim advised listeners to a November 9 convention name, “In the event you’re attempting to ship a vaccine … that requires deep ‘chilly chain’ like minus 70 or minus 80 Celsius, you aren’t going to have the ability to do this in a lot of the areas and a lot of the nations exterior the U.S. And even the U.S., it will be a big heavy raise to distribute these vaccines,” reported ctpost.

Ought to You Spend money on Thermo Fisher Or Avantor?

Publicly-traded firms Thermo Fisher Scientific and Avantor make ultra-cold freezers which vary in value from $12,000 to almost $30,000, famous ctpost.

Neither firm is a pure-play — they make most of their cash from different merchandise. Given the businesses’ outcomes in the course of the pandemic, I feel ThermoFisher has the sting.


$28.9 billion (final 12 months’ gross sales) Waltham, Mass.-based Thermo Fisher Scientific sells scientific devices and laboratory tools, diagnostics consumables, and life science reagents.

The agency operates by means of 4 segments (income figures embrace some cross-segment income): analytical applied sciences (17% of gross sales); specialty diagnostic merchandise (15%); life science options (36%); and lab services and products (40%). ThermoFisher doesn’t report its ultra-freezer revenues.

ThermoFisher — whose inventory has risen 38% this yr to $451 a share as of November 20 — is benefiting from the pandemic. DowJones reported that the corporate expects 20% development in 2020 income to about $30.52 billion and a 48% pop ion adjusted earnings to $18.27 a share for the yr

In October, ThermoFisher stated it expects 29% natural development within the quarter ending December 2020 with an anticipated $1.75 billion in Covid-19 response income, famous Dow Jones.


$6.1 billion (final 12 months’ gross sales) Radnor, Penn.-based Avantor sells supplies, consumables, tools and instrumentation to biopharma, healthcare, schooling and authorities, and superior applied sciences and utilized supplies industries.

Its inventory has risen about 40% in 2020 to almost $26 a share, in line with Morningstar. Its income grew 2% to $4.6 billion within the first 9 months of 2020. Sadly, it doesn’t report its ultra-cold storage freezer revenues — that are probably a small proportion of its complete gross sales.

Are Chilly-Storage Shippers a Higher Wager?

Three logistics firms say they’ve what it takes to ship Covid-19 vaccines — with some limitations. A McKesson

spokesman stated “the wholesaler will ship Covid-19 vaccines requiring refrigeration to minus 20 Celsius,” in line with the Wall Avenue Journal. That shall be chilly sufficient for the Moderna vaccine however not the Pfizer one.

Cryoport, an Irving, Texas-based wholesaler, has been offering temperature-controlled shipments for pharma firms since 2018. It already makes use of know-how that may preserve livestock animal vaccines at minus 196 levels for a couple of month, famous the Journal. Cryoport is exploring whether or not that know-how might be tailored to ship the Covid-19 vaccine.

Wes Wheeler, president of UPS Healthcare, advised the Journal that United Parcel Service

plans “by October to complete building of its freezer farms crammed with cellular freezer models in Louisville, Ky., and the Netherlands to function stopover factors throughout distribution or whereas awaiting regulatory choices.”

These freezers — which might maintain as many as 48,000 vials every, may be configured to carry a vaccine at between minus 85 and minus 20 levels Celsius. UPS may deal with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Investing Personal Fairness in Extremely Chilly Freezer Makers

In the event you occur to run a personal fairness agency, I wonder if it might be price trying into investing in privately-held makers of ultra-cold freezers, in line with ctpost, comparable to PHC Holdings — which expects a 50% enhance in orders this yr, in line with Mainichi — and Cincinnati, Ohio-based So-Low.

Others embrace Noblesville, IN-based Helmer Scientific and Athens, Ohio-based Stirling Ultracold are including to their workforce and increasing capability, in line with the Irish Solar.

Demand for ultra-cold freezers goes to soar over the following yr because the world scales as much as ship Covid-19 vaccines. Except you run a personal fairness agency, shopping for ThermoFisher shares might be one of the best — although imperfect — strategy to revenue from this demand development.

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