Ocugen Inc (NASDAQ: OCGN) is screaming for the top in the market this morning, following up on the gains that we’ve seen from the stock as of late. However, with no press releases or SEC filings, many are wondering why.
The gains seem to be the result of the fact that the vaccine the company is working with in a partnership with Bharat Biotech, COVAXIN, is showing promise in mutations of COVID-19 being seen in India. Here’s what’s going on:
OCGN Climbs On COVID-19 News
Recently, India has seen a tremendous climb in the amount of COVID-19 cases taking place. In fact, for the past three days, the country has seen an average of 311,000 new cases per day, putting tremendous strain on the medical system in the region.
Many argue that the ramp up in new cases has to do with mutations that have taken place, resulting in a new strain of the condition that’s quickly spreading through the country.
According to experts, the strain is more transmissible and is a double-mutation strain where both E484Q and L452R have both been detected.
This new strain is known as B.1. 617 and has spread to various regions around the world, including but not limited to, the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Namibia, New Zealand, and Singapore.
So, what does this have to do with Ocugen?
Well, Ocugen has partnered with an Indian biotechnology company known as Bharat Biotech surrounding COVAXIN, a COVID-19 vaccine.
Interestingly, new data published on BioRxiv suggests that COVAXIN is effective in neutralizing the B.1. 617 variants of COVID-19.
To come to this conclusion, researchers looked for the antibody level capable of neutralizing B.1. 617 variants in serum samples collected from individuals that have recovered from COVID-19. These samples came from several different strains, including the new strain being found in India and several countries around the world.
Interestingly, when the results were compared to sera samples collected from COVAXIN recipients, a similarity in the neutralization capacity against B.1. 617 among vaccinated people, and those who have recovered from the illness became very clear to researchers.
This ultimately suggests that COVAXIN is effective against this highly contagious strain of the COVID-19 virus.
That’s great news for Ocugen.
While the company won’t earn any revenue from the vaccine being sold in India and various other countries around the world, it will share in the funds generated from sales in the United States. In fact, the company will receive 45% of the profits generated in the U.S., should the vaccine be approved.
Now, the big question. When will approval take place?
This is a very hard question to answer. However, Ocugen has been very clear that it is working diligently to submit an application with the FDA to be able to sell COVAXIN in the United States.
While I have no insider knowledge, I do expect that the vaccine will be submitted to the FDA at some point in either the second, or third, quarter of 2021. Moreover, I’m expecting the FDA to have a relatively fast turnaround time, giving the company the ability to bring COVAXIN to market in the United States by the end of the year.
This Is A Huge Opportunity
Ultimately, the vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech, the partner of Ocugen, has proven effective against every strain of COVID-19 it has been tested against. Sure, overall immunity has come in slightly lower than what we’ve seen with other vaccines, but other vaccines haven’t yet proven effective against various strains.
Moreover, in a recent study, COVAXIN proved to be 100% effective in the prevention of severe illness associated with COVID-19. You can’t get better than 100% my friends.
All told, the opportunity here is one that shouldn’t be ignored. COVAXIN is proving to be overwhelmingly effective, safe, and well tolerated in multiple clinical studies. Now, with news that the vaccine is effective against one of the most contagious variants of the COVID-19 infection, the vaccine has become even more valuable.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, no matter how you slice it, there’s a lot to look forward to from Ocugen. With FDA submissions likely coming down the line relatively soon, I’m expecting for COVAXIN to be available in the United States by the end of the year. With ownership of 45% of the profitability generated from the sales of the vaccine, there’s plenty to look forward to for OCGN investors.