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At the moment, Inovio (INO) is probably the best performing stock among the biotech companies, with over 300% gains. Let’s take a look at the reasons why this is so.
Recently, financial markets have been taking a deep plunge because of the coronavirus. The swings have been very heavy and experts have warned that things could get a lot worse. Since the virus is nowhere near containment, that future seems to be drawing closer. On the other hand, biotech companies that are working on creating a potent COVID-19 vaccine are on a race to outdo each other. At the moment, Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: INO) seems to be atop the list and the company’s stock is responding quite favorably.
Why Inovio Stock Is Performing Better
Recent events have made Inovio stock extremely profitable. At the end of January, INO jumped about 11% when the company announced a partnership with Beijing Advaccine Biotechnology. The two outfits are working together on INO-4800, Inovio’s COVID-19 vaccine.
Recently, Inovio also announced that it is accelerating plans for human trials of INO-4800. The company said its trials will start in the U.S. by April, with 30 people. It will also extend trials to China and South Korea before April is over, with 3,000 doses for all the trials. Also, Inovio said it will have 1 million doses by the end of 2020. On that news alone, INO jumped 70% in a day.
On Friday, INO closed at $14.09 after jumping almost 44%. This was probably in response to U.S. President Trump’s $8.3 billion emergency announcement. Although the announcement did not mention any companies, in particular, it probably boosted faith in INO.
The company’s stock has also further jumped from its last close and had a premarket price of $16.27 after climbing over 15%. The company boasts of over 304% returns in the last 1 month and 327% year-to-date (YTD) gains.
At the moment of writing, its price is $17.67 and it is more than 25% up today.
Inovio Isn’t the Only One
Apart from Inovio, there are a few other companies whose stock might get a pump from efforts at treating the coronavirus. As bullish as Inovio stock is, its COVID-19 progress is still behind California-based Gilead Sciences Inc (NASDAQ: GILD). The company has already begun trials for its Remdesivir. The trials have categorized patients, depending on their COVID-19 severity. However, Gilead stock (GILD) is only 23% YTD.
New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) is also working on a vaccine. The company is working on a project that will screen medications already available, as it gears towards treating COVID-19. It is however much behind, with clinical trials to begin at the end of the year. JNJ stock has lost 2.6% this year.
There also is Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: REGN). The company is working on COVID-19 treatment which should be ready for testing by the end of August. REGN stock is up about 32% in 2020.
Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd (TYO: 4502) is also competing with others for COVID-19 treatment. The company is in the preclinical stage of its TAK-888 product and is still doing research. The company says that it needs plasma for people who are fully recovered or who have received a vaccine, to help with the research. TAK has lost 8.7% this year.
Sanofi Sa (EPA: SAN) is another company that is currently in the preclinical stage of vaccine development. It intends to test a vaccine candidate potent for the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Its own clinical trial will however not happen before March 2021 according to a spokesman. This year, Sanofi stock is down 3.5%.
Vir Biotechnology Inc (NASDAQ: VIR) is having a great year, like Inovio. The company says it’s working with Shanghai-based WuXi Biologics and is seeking approval in China. It is working on treatment and not a vaccine. VIR stock, this year, has climbed over 263% already.
A recent report from The Guardian states that confirmed infections are now over 110,000. In addition, several states in the U.S. as well as European countries, are considering emergency measures.