Editor’s note: This article was updated on Oct. 26 to clarify the relationship between Ocugen and Bharat Biotech.
Ocugen (NASDAQ:OCGN) investors are certainly feeling the pain this afternoon. After a lengthy build-up, investors finally felt like they were nearing the finish line regarding the COVAXIN Covid-19 vaccine. Well, a setback today is not just erasing OCGN stock’s gains, it’s putting the stock in the red to end what is supposed to be a day of celebration for investors.
The World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) approval is everything to Ocugen stockholders. After a long and arduous year, the company saw the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shut the door in its face; it said it would not approve the company’s coronavirus vaccine, developed by Indian firm Bharat Biotech, for emergency use authorization (EUA). With the FDA taking this stance, it now has to seek out full authorization. It is still doing that. But in the meantime, a WHO approval of the vaccine would do wonders for it as a global vaccine option.
OCGN stock bulls have been quite confident that the vaccine will see approval, and Bharat Biotech will be able to begin prepping the shot for mass production. It even saw approval in India for use in children, catalyzing some great gains for shareholders.
OCGN Stock Soars, Then Promptly Plummets on Late Afternoon Bad News
Since then, the WHO is being very quiet on whether it will actually approve the shot for emergency-use listing (EUL). Indeed, investors may be getting a little nervous. A meeting by the WHO’s technical advisory group (TAG) today should’ve put those nerves at ease, and OCGN stock reflected that with a gain of 30% throughout the day.
Earlier in the day, the WHO was saying it would have a recommendation ready for tomorrow if the review went off without a hitch. But, unfortunately for OCGN stockholders, the organization is requiring more clarification from Ocugen’s partner Bharat Biotech. The organization is blaming its delays on Bharat’s “procedural delays.” Once they receive the clarification they need from Bharat, the TAG says it will reconvene on Nov. 3 to discuss approval once again.
The bad news is capping off what was otherwise a lovely day for OCGN stock with a nightmare. Since gaining 30% through the early afternoon, the stock is tanking. At the close of the market, the stock is chalking up a 2% loss on the day. This loss also comes on massive volume, which is surely both massive quantities of buyers early in day and sellers just before the market’s close. More than 228 million shares are trading hands today against an average of 16 million.
On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.