How Ocugen Will Be a Covid-19 Variant Killer
With India administering its home-made Covaxin over blot-clotting controversy surrounding AstraZenica, $OCGN has a path to profitability in the U.S. as well.
India’s Covaxin, the homegrown government-backed vaccine, has an efficacy rate of 81%, preliminary data from its phase 3 trial shows.
India’s regulators gave the vaccine an emergency approval in January while the third phase of the trial was still under way, sparking skepticism and questions from experts. However a lot of that has been laid to rest when you understand the difference between Covaxin and other mRNA vaccines.
Covaxin may be the best vaccine for children and against Covid-19 variants and therefore should get EUA in the U.S. in the spring of 2021.
Ocugen’s CEO, Shankar Musunuri, recently said that the company plans to sell 100 million doses of India’s two-dose COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. this year, Reuters reports. The stock’s $OCGN price is currently $9.23 and has a great deal of anticipatory momentum and a funnel of potential buyers due to the uncertain stock market with regards to interest rates.
If you followed the early price action of Moderna, Novvax or other Covid-19 related vaccines you get an idea of the kind of price moving they typically can have early in their cycle. Even with the U.S. progressing very rapidly now with vaccinations, there’s still variants and a great deal of confusion as to which states are opening up prematurely making America vulnerable to more outbreaks, especially of the variants.
If Covaxin is more effective against variants, which some academics believe is likely, it will certainly be used in the U.S. and places like Canada, Mexico, etc… While 100 million is an optimistic estimate, it’s likely to be bought by the U.S. who will in 2022 be a major provider of vaccines to the rest of the world.
As spike protein mutations evolve, the mRNA type vaccines could become less effective and require booster shots. It may simply become easier to administer Covaxin as that booster. To give a relative comparison, Novavax’s stock price went from $18 in May 2020 to $217 today. As such $OCGN could go from $9 today to something like $60 in a best case scenario in late 2021.
Also it’s important to point out that the West won’t use Russian or Chinese vaccines due to the lack of data transparency and thus Covaxin becomes a good bet, given the temporary stoppage in many European countries of AstraZenica, which appears to be for the most part political.
Whatever the case may be, this boosts Covaxin’s global chance of becoming a huge success and ultimately puts pressure on the U.S. to share vaccines from their major companies giving $OCGN more of a chance to be used domestically.
- Ocugen aims to launch the vaccine in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2021, initially with imported shots before beginning production there.
- Musunuri said COVAXIN had the potential to work against COVID-19 variants, and Ocugen could initially focus on children as it was likely to be safe for those over the age of 12.
- Ocugen will have U.S. rights to the vaccine and be responsible for its clinical development, regulatory approval and commercialization. Bharat Biotech will also transfer its technology and keep 55% of the profit.
- India’s drug regulator approved COVAXIN for emergency use in January for people above 12, saying it could act against the whole body of a virus instead of just its “spike-protein” tip, potentially making it more effective in case of mutations.
In a static stock market fearful of rising 10-year treasury rates, inflation and so forth, $OCGN will get a lot of attention from retail investors and a stimulus money surge is possible in late March and April 2021.
As such, $OCGN represents a very acceptable risk-reward at under $12 for high-growth momentum traders since the stock price could realistically double in 2021 and far exceed that in a best case scenario. $OCGN is the top Covid-19 stock remaining considering the current macro situation