Vir Biotechnology shares may more than double in the future, according to Goldman Sachs. Analyst Paul Choi upgraded the stock to buy from neutral and raised his price target, saying the immunology company will release new flu vaccine data next year that could boost the biotech stock. The antibody treatment, called VIR-2482, offers users broad protection against flu strains that Vir says could last throughout the flu season. “VIR will report data in mid-2023 for VIR-2482 (intramuscularly injected monoclonal antibody for influenza A prophylaxis/prevention), which we expect to demonstrate significantly better efficacy than currently approved and competing influenza-stage influenza vaccines and subsequently shift material up. a revision to consensus estimates,” Choi told clients in a note on Tuesday. “The effectiveness of a given vaccine varies widely from year to year (US average: ~40% [range: 10%-60%]) and weakens over time, the VIR strategy targeting the highly conserved (> 98%) strain region of the influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) avoids the need to predict which strains will predominate each flu season,” added Choi. Vir Biotechnology went public in October 2019, pricing its initial offering at $20 per share. Biotech stocks have done well during the pandemic as they develop Covid treatments; they more than doubled in 2020 and increased by more than 50% in 2021. In 2022, they fell by 40%. In 2023, the biotech stock is up slightly, up 1.7%, and still underperforming the S&P 500. Still, the analyst expects the stock to rise more than 105% this year post-Covid to the analyst’s 12-month price target of in the amount of 53 USD. The price target was raised from $41. Shares of Vir are about 5% higher in premarket trading on Tuesday. resulting in increased potency (ADCC) and a longer half-life It should provide sufficient serum coverage well above EC90 during influenza season,” Choi wrote. To be sure, the company will have to deal with questions that remain around pricing. Regardless, the new vaccine data has the potential to boost the virus’ growth. “Given that VIR-2482 represents <20% of consensus risk-adjusted sales in 2030 (mostly hep B), we see a true second stage story after COVID and think the current valuation represents a compelling risk/reward. Upgrade to Shop with a new 12-month PT of $53 (was $41),” Choi wrote. —CNBC's Michael Bloom contributed to this report.