Shares of Ocugen (NADSAQ:OCGN) stock are on a tear right now. Indeed, Ocugen is up more than 450% year-to-date.
The pre-clinical biopharmaceutical company’s focus on providing gene therapies to help cure blindness is winning over investors. The company appears to be on track with its product development and is progressing toward clinical trials this year.
Here’s more of what you need to know about Ocugen.
OCGN Stock Hoping to Cure Blindness
Ocugen is a feel-good story in the world of biopharma. I think Ocugen’s focus on developing and commercializing therapeutic solutions to cure blindness disease is a noble one.
The company has three key products. Its OCU400 drug is aimed at the treatment of inherited retinal disorders. The OCU410 drug is focused on treatment of age-related macular degeneration. Finally, Ocugen’s OCU200 treatment is for various neovascular disorders.
Ocugen’s gene therapy platform could be a breakthrough in allowing for the treatment of more than one retinal disease is impressive. The market for therapeutics for diseases such as macular degeneration, retinopathy, and macular edema is a large one.
Additionally, this market appears to have tons of untapped potential right now. Given the opportunity that exists, and the relative lack of therapeutic solutions to these diseases, Ocugen is confident it can grab significant market share out of the gate with its products.
The company has made significant progress in developing its modifier gene therapy and biologic product candidates. However, these products are still pending clinical trials and ultimate approvals. Ocugen does have an aggressive timetable set out for Phase 1 and 2 trials for this year and next. Accordingly, this company appears to be a long-term investment given the uncertainty that lies ahead.
Ocugen reported in October it had entered into a manufacturing contract with Kemwell Biopharma to produce Ocugen’s biologic candidate OCU200. Ocugen believes this manufacturing arrangement will pave the way for distribution as early as 2022.
Ocugen Is Fundamentally Sound
As far as early-stage biopharma companies go, OCGN stock is on solid financial footing right now.
The company’s raised approximately $238 million in 2020. This has secured the company’s runway to pursue its clinical trial targets aggressively. Additionally, Ocugen has repaid $4.5 million of unsecured notes related to the exchange of Series A Warrants. These notes are now no longer outstanding.
The company’s most recent earnings report indicated Ocugen had a cash and cash equivalents balance of more than $19 million. This was an increase of nearly $12 million from two quarters prior.
Additionally, given the company’s R&D expenses of around $1.5 million per quarter and SG&A expenses of $1.7 million, it appears Ocugen has enough cash to meet its financial obligations for some time.
With clinical trials set for this year and 2022, Ocugen is still a ways out from bringing a product to market. However, the company’s aforementioned manufacturing deal has
I think as far as preclinical biopharma options go, Ocugen is about as good as it gets. Indeed, investors should get excited about Ocugen’s product development and potential market. There’s a lot to like about the direction this company is headed. Additionally, Ocugen’s management team seems to be doing a fantastic job of managing its balance sheet, while aggressively pursuing its clinical trial timeline.
However, this is a stock that remains a story right now. Investors are buying into the management team and its ability to execute. I think Ocugen’s manufacturing agreement validates its product and provides investors with a better idea of when these products could come to market.
That said, this company is yet unproven. Investors are taking a leap of faith with Ocugen right now.
On the date of publication, Chris MacDonald did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.