Watershed Moment For Coronavirus Vaccine Stocks
In a breakthrough moment for coronavirus stocks, the FDA approved the first COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ: BNTX). They’ve come in first against two other vaccines being given under Emergency Use from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA). The approval comes as traders have anticipated this move for weeks leading up to the formal decision. Here’s what we know so far:
- This is the first coronavirus vaccine approved by the FDA.
- It has been approved for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 and older.
- The treatment has been given out under Emergency Use Authorization since it was first cleared in December of 2020.
- The 2-dose shot has since become the most-received COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S.
- Pfizer-BioNTech’s treatment was authorized for children as young as 12, earlier this year. There are plans to request full approval for that group once data has been collected and analyzed for 6 months.
- The Biden administration has also recommended a third dose of the vaccine as a booster to the immune system against other variants of the virus.
- This approval could lead some businesses to enforce a vaccination policy moving forward.
What Does This Mean For Vaccine Stocks Now?
While the ink has barely dried on this news, the markets are abuzz with speculation. What will happen now? Will vaccine stocks start falling or does this mark a time to open the floodgates for new entrants? While Pfizer-BioNTech is the first to gain FDA approval, it won’t likely be the last. Both Johnson & Johnson as well as Moderna both show they want a similar outcome from the FDA.
The former said it aims to file for full approval later this year while the latter is still completing rolling data submissions. Meanwhile, you’ve got an entire ecosystem of companies working on everything from testing panels to novel treatments. Let’s take a closer look at some of the other coronavirus penny stocks to watch in the market today.
Current & Former Penny Stocks to Watch Right Now
- T2 Biosystems Inc. (NASDAQ: TTOO)
- Ocugen Inc. (NASDAQ: OCGN)
- Sorrento Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SRNE)
T2 Biosystems Inc. (NASDAQ: TTOO)
Shares of T2 popped early on Monday following the Pfizer-BioNTech news. The company developed its T2SARS-CoV-2TM Panel, which was also awarded an EUA by the FDA. This panel is available commercially and distributed based on the FDA’s guidance on Policy for Coronavirus Disease-2019 Tests During the Public Health Emergency (Revised).
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But this isn’t the company’s only product. T2’s platform is based on its T2 Magnetic Resonance technology. This has lead to the development of other products including its T2Dx instrument for diagnostic blood tests. This instrument then uses T2’s panels (T2Bacteria, T2 Candida, & T2SARS-CoV2) to test for certain pathogens in just a few hours.
Ocugen Inc. (NASDAQ: OCGN)
You’ve also got former penny stocks like Ocugen Inc., which are gaining attention for vaccine development. The company along with Bharat Biotech of India has been working on expanding the reach of COVAXINTM. The clinical-stage drug is in Phase 3 right now and has already shown 77.8% efficacy against COVID-19 disease. It also demonstrated 93.4% efficacy in patients with severe COVID-19 and 63.6% efficacy against asymptomatic COVID.
The company is currently in discussions with the FDA to figure out a strategy resulting in a potential Biologics License Application pathway for U.S. clinical trials to support such a submission. In its August business update, Dr. Shankar Musunuri, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and Co-Founder of Ocugen commented on the overall progress that has materialized during the last quarter.
“The second quarter has proven how dynamic the life sciences sector is during this time of global crisis, and we are undeterred in our efforts to contribute to the public health agenda. Our regulatory submission to Health Canada and our ongoing discussions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration continue to provide us direction in potentially obtaining regulatory approvals for COVAXIN(TM) in North America. We are also continuing our forward momentum to take on blindness diseases and are on track to initiate our first gene therapy clinical trial for OCU400 in the latter part of 2021. Overall, I’m very pleased with our growth and efforts to date.”
With multiple pipelines expecting to bring more results this year, OCGN could be one of the stocks to watch after this latest Pfizer headline.
Sorrento Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SRNE)
Another one of the former penny stocks gaining momentum this week is Sorrento Therapeutics. When we first started following the progress of this company last year, SRNE stock was trading below $2. As of this week, shares are well above $8. One of the core points of focus of the market right now is Sorrento’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, DYAI-100. Along with its partner Dyadic International, the two are planning to file applications with regulators to start human clinical trials.
Earlier this month, the company pointed out new data revealing that DYAI-100 gave a strong neutralizing immune response against SARS-CoV-2 in vaccinated animals. This news came just a few days prior to the Pfizer-BioNTech FDA approval. With today’s update, SRNE stock has piggybacked off of last week’s momentum and continued higher on Monday.
Should You Buy Vaccine Stocks Right Now?
Sentiment and speculation can play big roles in the stock market. The biggest thing to remember about that is volatility will surely be close behind. Understanding that, it’s also important to know how to research these companies. Emergency Use Authorization is one thing but full FDA approval is the true test to pass. Given that Pfizer & BioNTech became the first to do so, there could be plenty more promising vaccine stocks to watch as new developments emerge.