Ocugen (NASDAQ:OCGN) may not be one of the top movers in the stock market today, but a new piece of news means that OCGN stock is worth watching. So what happened? And what else do you need to know now?
- Ocugen is a biotech company that primarily focuses on treating rare conditions involving blindness.
- New orphan drug status in Europe for one of its candidates promises to be a catalyst for OCGN stock.
To start, investors should know that the story with Ocugen is rather interesting. The company primarily is a biotech firm focusing on conditions involving blindness. One of the ways it does this is through its lead candidate, OCU400. OCU400 is a gene therapy that hopes to restore retinal function and integrity in patients with a variety of inherited retinal disorders (IRDs). In these cases, patients are born with conditions that cause them to lose their vision, including through over time. Ocugen hopes to intervene and prevent this from happening.
However, in recent weeks, Ocugen has been more of a Covid-19 play. Through a partnership with Indian firm Bharat Biotech, the company has been planning to develop and commercialize its vaccine in the U.S. This vaccine has been a major catalyst for OCGN stock, especially as it advances in clinical trials within India.
Perhaps that is why news today is not moving Ocugen yet. In a new release, Ocugen shared that it received orphan medicinal product designation from the European Commission for its OCU400. Specifically for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and Leber Congenital amaurosis (LCA), Ocugen sees this as a vote of confidence in its drug pipeline.
What to Know About OCGN Stock
So what else do you need to know about the news?
Ocugen also gave investors a bit more context into RP and LCA. According to the press release, there are about 165,000 patients in Europe with RP and 40,000 patients with LCA. At a global scale, there are 2 million patients with RP and 200,000 patients with LCA. These conditions are inherited retinal diseases that, like others it focuses on, contribute to the loss of vision.
And importantly, Ocugen says that it can deliver a unique solution for these diseases. Different IRDs associated with RP and LCA could stem from mutations in as many as 175 genes. That means it would be difficult for any company to develop therapies for each individual gene. Instead, through its OCU400, Ocugen hopes to address all of these different gene mutations at once.
So what does this mean going forward? Ocugen says that, especially with this orphan status, it hopes to bring its treatments from the program to patients. It also believes that the orphan status validates its potential. If Wall Street starts to agree, look for OCGN stock to move. Shares are already up 6% today, but on relatively low trading volume.
On the date of publication, Sarah Smith did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Sarah Smith is a Web Content Producer with InvestorPlace.com.