Ocugen Inc (NASDAQ: OCGN) is headed up in the market again this morning, and for good reason. The company announced that the vaccine its partnership with Bharat Biotech surrounds is showing compelling signs of efficacy against three key variants of COVID-19. Here’s what’s going on:
OCGN Stock Gains On Vaccine Efficacy
In the press release, Ocugen announced that in a new study, scientists at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)-National Institute of Virology have found that COVAXIN, the vaccine Ocugen and Bharat Biotech are working to bring to patients around the world, is potentially effective against the Brazil variant of SARS-CoV-2, also known as B.1.128.2.
This adds yet another variant to the list. Let’s not forget that the vaccine has already shown signs of efficacy against the UK variant, B.1.1.7, and the Indian double mutant variant, B.1.617,
Importantly, the Brazilian variant contains the E484K mutation, which has been found in New York.
OCGN went on to explain that in the studies, COVAXIN-vaccinated sera effectively neutralized several SARS-CoV-2 variants. As a result, these studies suggest that the vaccine will be a prime choice to vaccinate against various strains of COVID-19.
In a statement, Dr. Satish Chandran, Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board at Ocugen, had the following to offer:
We are pleased to see the results of this study as it demonstrates the potential effectiveness of COVAXIN against multiple variants, further strengthening our belief that this vaccine can potentially eliminate the possibility of mutant virus escape.
The above statement was followed up by Dr. Shankar Musunuri, Chairman of the Board, CEO, and Co-Founder of COGN. Here’s what he had to say:
COVAXIN continues to show strong results in all the studies conducted to date. We continue to believe this vaccine is a critical tool to include in our national arsenal to fight this pandemic. The Ocugen team submitted a comprehensive drug master file with the FDA and is currently diligently preparing the EUA application.
This Is Big News
The experts argue that while the spread of COVID-19 is slowing and the world is working to get back to normal, the virus isn’t expected to go anywhere any time soon. In fact, some suggest that like the flu, we’ll see different variations of the virus on an annual basis, and the several mutations we’ve seen thus far around the world further validate that opinion.
The vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech, which Ocugen has the rights to in the United States, has proven effective against every variant it has been tested against to date. While there are some concerns that the level of efficacy of the vaccine is 78% among all patients, it has a 100% efficacy rate in terms of avoiding serious complications as a result of COVID-19 infection.
That’s incredible news, and data that no other vaccine, even those on the market, seems to be able to compete with.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line here is that Bharat Biotech and Ocugen seem to be onto something big with COVAXIN. Moreover, the vaccine is in late-stage development, meaning that an application with the FDA is likely to take place relatively soon.
With the strong efficacy results in any of the variants the vaccine has been tested against, combined with several catalysts that are likely ahead, OCGN stock is one for the watchlist.