The latest outbreak of monkeypox has some scratching their heads. What more can 2022 bring to the market? We’ve seen a stock market crash, the hopeful recovery from COVID-19, record inflation, rising rates, and now this. But it has placed some penny stocks in focus.
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed more than 550 monkeypox cases in 30 countries. Now on a global scale, this is the latest virus to strike some fear in the hearts of investors who had to endure the pain of the last pandemic only a few years ago.
One of the main concerns is that not even the WHO knows how to gauge the outbreak. During a press conference this week, monkeypox technical lead Dr. Rosamund Lewis said, “We don’t really know whether it’s too late to contain. What WHO and all member states are trying to do is prevent onward spread.”
Meanwhile, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has already tried easing concerns. The Director-General recently explained that the global appearance of monkeypox indicates that it has been spreading undetected for some time out of Africa. Tedros also said that most symptoms generally resolve on their own. Though in some cases, the virus can be more severe.
Monkeypox Stock To Watch
Since there are close ties to the smallpox virus, some looking for opportunities seek stocks of companies working on vaccine candidates. For anyone trading penny stocks, Tonix Pharmaceuticals’ (NASDAQ: TNXP) latest headline shows how news can act as a significant catalyst. Shares were already on the rise following the announcement of a stock buyback plan. On Wednesday, the company also announced the issuance of a patent for its smallpox and monkeypox vaccine, TNX-801.
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Another one of the monkeypox stocks setting a tone in the stock market today is SIGA Technologies (NASDAQ: SIGA). The company’s shares have been moving since traders began following developments of SIGA’s Tpoxx platform for smallpox and its potential application for monkeypox.
Other monkeypox stocks haven’t faired as well as TNXP and SIGA stock. For instance, Bavarian Nordic (OTC: BVNRY) actually obtained orders for its JYNNEOS® smallpox vaccine from the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). This would allow for the first doses of this version to be manufactured and invoiced in 2023 and 2024. According to headlines this week, the options have a value of $119 million and “represent the first options exercised to convert bulk vaccine…into freeze-dried doses of JYNNEOS smallpox vaccine.”
Despite this as the case, shares of BVNRY stock haven’t reacted as positively in the stock market. In fact, since May 20th, the stock has dropped from highs of $11.70 to lows of $9.23 this week.
Monkeypox Penny Stocks For Your June Watch List
1. GeoVax Labs, Inc. (NASDAQ: GOVX)
GeoVax (GOVX Stock Report) develops vaccines and immunotherapies and has been in the spotlight for monkeypox stock hunters over the last few weeks. We discussed it on a late-May list of monkeypox penny stocks to watch. Where the angle comes into play is with GeoVax’s GV-MVA-VLPTM platform. It is used to construct vaccine candidates using genetic sequences from viruses. A statement earlier this year has come back into focus thanks to GeoVax’s Chief Scientific Officer, Farshad Guirakhoo, Ph.D. He said GeoVax’s platform and mentioned smallpox and monkeypox specifically.
“Perhaps of critical importance is that the viral basis of our vaccine vector (MVA) has more than 50 years of safety records and has been recently approved by the FDA for prevention of smallpox and monkeypox diseases,” Dr. Guirakhoo explained.
The company also recently presented at the Genetic Vaccine Development for Infectious Disease Summit on May 26th. This presentation was made just a few days prior to GeoVax making a Tweet that resonated strongly with the market. The company’s May 31st Tweet said: “Previous peer reviewed publications have validated that the GeoVax constructs of MVA also provide protection against monkeypox.”
Heading into the rest of the short week, GOVX stock could remain one to watch if monkeypox cases continue rising.
2. Chimerix (NASDAQ: CMRX)
LIke Bavarian Nordic, Chimerix (CMRX Stock Report) has been muted during this monkeypox explosion in the stock market. One of the reasons for more downbeat than upbeat sentiment is its divestiture of the company’s only marketed product. Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (NYSE: EBS), another one of the monkeypox stocks to watch, purchased exclusive worldwide rights to Chimerix’s Tembexa. This is the first FDA-approved antiviral for all age groups for smallpox.
Thanks to the close connection of the viruses, smallpox stocks are on watch as potential monkeypox vaccine developers. “This transaction expands and further diversifies our medical countermeasures business with the addition of a small molecule therapeutic that aligns with the government’s smallpox preparedness strategy,” said Paul Williams, SVP government/MCM business at Emergent, in a May update.
Part of the deal includes a 20% royalty on future gross profit of Tembexa in the US linked to volumes above 1.7 million treatment courses. Chimerix also said that it could obtain a 15% royalty on all gross profit outside of the US associated with the drug sales in the exclusivity period on a market-to-market basis. Next week the company presents a corporate overview at the Jefferies Healthcare Conference on June 8th.
3. Aethlon Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ: AEMD)
Aethlon’s (AEMD Stock Report) pipeline of treatments is designed to target different organ-threatening diseases. For example, its Hemopurifier has been studied as an active platform to fight future COVID-19 variants that can impact the efficacy of certain vaccines. The device was given Breakthrough Device status in treating patients with metastatic cancer. Furthermore, an Investigational Device Exemption was granted in 2019 for cancer and was also updated to include a clinical study of patients with viral infections, including COVID.
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Where does monkeypox come into play? Aethlon claims that “pre-clinical Hemopurifier studies have validated the broad-spectrum capture of numerous viral threats. These include: Chikungunya, Dengue and West Nile virus, as well as Vaccinia and Monkey pox, which serve as models for human Smallpox infection.”
Like the others on this list of penny stocks, more monkeypox headlines could put some of these names on the radar this week.
Will monkeypox become as big as COVID? That’s yet to be seen, and so far (thankfully), not the case. However, like in the early days of the pandemic, data is just beginning to come out. Speculation has become a driving force for traders, considering the uncertainty right now. As such, it’s essential to realize this and make sure to develop a proper strategy.