New Vaccine Stock Ocugen Rides Santa Claus Rally
Vaccine stocks, EV stocks, E-commerce stocks, 2020 sure saw its share of wild stock stories. So given this light how do we evaluate Ocugen $OCGN?
Think about the history of the landscape. In February 2020 Novavax was a $7 dollar stock. Guess how much it’s worth today? That would be $129.
However with Ocugen, it’s not as big an upside. So what? Ocugen just disclosed it had signed a binding letter of intent (LOI) with India based Bharat Biotech to co-develop a COVID-19 vaccine for the U.S. market. The U.S. already has quite a few vaccines and vaccine candidates in the works.
Still it’s worth noting that Bharat’s offering, COVAXIN, a whole-virion inactivated COVID-19 vaccine candidate, has already shown promise in Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials in India and the enrollment of 26,000 subjects for the Phase 3 study is currently underway.
On December 21st $OCGN was just $0.29. Then the rally and it went up to $2.89 on December 23rd, 2020 on the news. So lower resistance at $1.86 and upward resistance at $2.89 lately, that’s a chart broken wide open. Remember India needs a vaccine that’s not going to be a cold-storage mRNA vaccine. Those can’t be rushed as fast.
Covid-19 Is Looking like Mutations that Become Covid-21
So what is Ocugen anyways? Essentially, the company is a clinical-stage biotech firm that specializes in therapies for blindness. Investors likely are most familiar with OCGN stock because of its candidates like OCU200, OCU400 and OCU410, which all specialize in addressing different vision-related conditions. So this proposed partnership is a bit of a surprise.
With Covid-19 mutations being found in the U.K. and another in South Africa that propose a more transmissible condition, the race to get people vaccinated will be pretty wild in 2021 and there’s nothing to say that everything will just go away in a few months. Herd immunity likely requires over 80% of the general population vaccinated and fully 30% are pretty much against being vaccinated to begin with in the U.S.
The agreement stipulates Ocugen will hold the vaccine’s U.S. rights, and the remaining details are expected to be finalized over the coming weeks. Bharat Biotech, an India-based biotechnology firm, specializes in vaccines. It currently has 16 vaccines in its portfolio and has a wide variety of other patents.
Bharat’s offering COVAXIN, a whole-virion inactivated COVID-19 vaccine candidate, has already shown promise in Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials in India and the enrollment of 26,000 subjects for the Phase 3 study is currently underway.
Considering Bharat’s reputation for world-class R&D and manufacturing capabilities in vaccines and bio-therapeutics, this could be a really top notch partnership. This isn’t just one of your ordinary penny stock biotech PR moves. This could turn into something legitimate.
Over the next few weeks, Ocugen is expected to meet with the FDA to discuss how to advance COVAXIN’s development. Bharat Biotech has already completed Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials, enrolling approximately 1,000 participants. Based on initial findings, the company believes it is promising in terms of its safety and immunogenicity.
What’s a Good Price for OCGN?
This makes $OCGN a buy, but at what price? At the Last Futurist, we believe getting this stock at $1.50 or below is a good deal considering its potential long-term prospects. This is a stock to potentially hold for a long time. Given how vaccine stock candidates behaved in early 2020, we know that they have incredible potential for sustained growth over time.
Given vaccines shortages, cold-chain logistics issues, cyber-hacks and competition for them, the world can’t have too many Covid-19 vaccines. As mutations increase, there’s a very small chance some of those vaccines won’t work.
mRNA vaccines are frankly new to the world and certainly were rushed. That’s not to say they aren’t safe. Ocugen will help develop and commercialize the vaccine in the U.S. This is exactly why OCGN stock is on the move. How high will it go depends on how dire things get in early 2021, and the chances are with a more transmissible Covid-19 things could get pretty bad pretty fast.
There have been 1.7 million deaths up till now but only in 2021 does Covid-19 really enter the mainstream population. There are 22 million reported active cases, for the real number you have to multiply that figure by 4-7x at least. Vaccinates won’t necessarily slow down the spread of the virus since while it protects the individual they can still in theory be a carrier (just like asymptomatic patients).
If you bought any of the vaccine candidates early on and chose to hold, you’d be doing pretty well right now. Moderna for instance went from $28 in March to $123 today. Obviously Ocugen is just a partner, and it’s about anywhere from 3rd to 6th in line as a vaccine that goes live in the U.S with Bharat.
The new mutations of Covid-19 mean more cases and thus more hospitalizations. The urgency for more vaccines will continue to weigh upon us as January breaks records and overwhelms hospital capacity in many regions. The U.K. variant is at least 56% more transmissible than other strains, according to the study by the Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The South African strain’s rate of transmission is supposedly even higher.
$OCGN reminds us that it’s not too late to invest in vaccine stocks. For places like India, it’s early days of the pandemic. At the time of writing this stock sits at $1.76. It’s highly likely to have another run and not look back for some time.
Ocugen was rated a buy by Roth Capital in November 2020, before this was even announced. The company has now installed a Vaccine Scientific Advisory Board. This unique yet traditional vaccine candidate is different from other options currently available in the US market with potentially broader coverage against multiple protein antigens of the virus. Given the small risk from the new mutations, this stock is more appealing than it would ordinarily be.
Ocugen, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing transformative therapies to cure blindness diseases. But suddenly in 2021, it becomes so much more. At the time of writing $OCGN has 49,000 followers on Stocktwits, 8,500 reactions on Yahoo Finance and climbing sense of buzz even at the top of Pennystocks Reddit.
Can you say Santa Claus rally?