It’s fair to say that clinical-stage biopharmaceutical specialist Ocugen (NASDAQ:OCGN) has radically changed its focus. If you own OCGN stock you have to up with the company’s progress as it attempts to advance the development of Covid-19 vaccine candidate Covaxin with partner Bharat Biotech.
It’s been quite a roller coaster ride, with the Ocugen share price swinging around wildly lately.
Meanwhile, shareholders will need to adjust to Ocugen’s pivot from a company that mainly focused on eye diseases to a serious contender in the Covid-19 vaccine advancement race.
Some shareholders might even say that Ocugen CEO Shankar Musunuri has some explaining to do. Thankfully, a recent interview offers some insight into the CEO’s perspective on his company foray into Covid-19 vaccine development.
Better yet, there’s new data to suggest that Covaxin could pose a real threat, in the best way possible, to the currently available novel coronavirus vaccines on the market.
A Closer Look at OCGN Stock
Long-term investors of OCGN stock have done quite well; short-term investors, not so much.
That’s my assessment of the stock’s price performance during the past year. Timing your entry point will be crucial as volatility is to be expected with Ocugen shares.
If we rewind the clock to December of 2020, we can see that OCGN stock was trading at just 30 cents per share. Ocugen’s move into the Covid-19 vaccine market, as you might expect, boosted the share price dramatically in early 2021.
Thus, on Feb. 8, the stock price touched an astonishing 52-week high of $18.77. Yet, unfortunately, the bulls weren’t able to hold on to those incredible gains.
This is a textbook example of why I don’t typically advise chasing after a stock that’s gone parabolic. After topping out, OCGN stock backed off of its peak price, landing exactly at $10 on March 12.
Still, at least the bulls have made a statement now. Another run towards the crucial $20 target is possible, and maybe it will happen sooner than the skeptics would expect.
Coming to America
For the time being, the collaborative efforts of Ocugen and Bharat appear to be focused mostly on the nation of India.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Most people probably don’t know this, but out of all the world’s vaccines, 70% of them are developed in India.
Ocugen chose the ideal partner in Bharat to advance Covaxin in India. Impressively, Bharat already has 140 global patents as well as a product portfolio that includes more than 16 vaccines.
Plus, Bharat has been granted permission from India’s Central Licensing Authority to sell and distribute Covaxin for restricted use in emergency situations.
Yet, Ocugen and Bharat are now looking to expand Covaxin beyond India.
“I am confident we will be able to work with Ocugen to develop a plan to bring Covaxin to the U.S market,” asserted Bharat Chairman and Managing Director Krishna Ella.
The (Interim) Results Are In
For its part, Ocugen reported that it’s in active discussions with American manufacturers to produce a “significant number” of doses of Covaxin in support of the company’s U.S. immunization program.
That’s great and all, but investors will still want to know how Covaxin is progressing in clinical terms. Fortunately, a recent update offers some encouraging news on that front.
As Bharat Biotech reports, the Phase 3 results for Covaxin indicate an interim clinical efficacy rate of 80.6%.
This was a massive study involving 25,800 participants between the ages of 18 and 98 years. The study even included 2,433 participants over the age of 60, as well as 4,500 participants with co-morbidities.
So, the results are in and they’re looking quite good so far. Investors should stay tuned as Bharat Biotech “expects to share further details of the trial results as additional data become available.”
The Bottom Line
Even if you bought OCGN stock near its recent peak price, there’s still hope. Indeed, there’s a good chance that the stock will make another run for $20 and beyond.
And with strong interim clinical results for Covaxin and ambitions to advance the vaccine in America, Ocugen and Bharat certainly appear to be on the path to international success.
On the date of publication, David Moadel did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.