An exciting new development in the Covid-19 vaccine race is underway. As of this morning, regulators confirmed that the World Health Organization (WHO) has begun a review of the COVAXIN shot, and is deciding whether to approve it for an emergency-use listing (EUL). In the meantime, Ocugen (NASDAQ:OCGN) is off to the races. The company expects a decisions very soon and investors can be happy as shares of OCGN stock have been soaring since the review began.
What’s Happening With OCGN Stock
This week kicked off with news that the WHO was reviewing COVAXIN, and OCGN stock began to climb steadily.
Shares outperformed the market on Monday and are experiencing even more growth today. As of this writing, the stock is up almost 30% for the day and over 42% for the past five days. Overall, it has been an excellent month for Ocugen, whose shares are up more than 20% since the start of October.
Regardless of what happens with this particular EUL, we shouldn’t forget that OCGN was a penny stock less than two years ago, trading at 30 cents per share. It was not until 2021 that the company spiked above the $5 mark. In fact, in the past year, shares have risen by more than 3,000%.
For a previously unknown company who was late to the vaccine race, this accomplishment is worth noting.
What It Means
Despite some slight downticks, OCGN stock shows no signs of slowing down today. This indicates that investors are feeling good about the COVAXIN’s chances of gaining the EUL. For those unfamiliar with the current situation, Ocugen is an American biotech company partnered with Bharat Biotech, an Indian firm. Bharat actually developed COVAXIN and has rolled it out within India, including to prominent politicians.
However, Ocugen is waiting for COVAXIN to receive further regulatory approvals. It is hoping to commercialize the vaccine in the U.S. and Canada. An EUL from the WHO could also help recipients of COVAXIN satisfy vaccine requirements.
Recent data indicate that only 21% of India’s citizens have been fully vaccinated. Despite the country’s vaccination efforts, there is still plenty of opportunity for COVAXIN. Broader approval for Bharat’s vaccine could elevate it on the world stage, and help carve out market share for Ocugen.
Meanwhile in the United States, fellow vaccine producer Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) has experienced a major setback as safety concerns with its manufacturing process have spooked investors and sent shares falling. When one contender falls behind, there is ample opportunity for another to make up the ground.
Why It Matters
InvestorPlace contributor Chris MacDonald recently reported that Ocugen has experienced difficulty in its quest to “leverage its commercialization and development rights in U.S. and Canada.” This has been primarily due to roadblocks posed by the WHO’s vaccine approval process. If COVAXIN is able to gain the necessary approval via the WHO, though, it could bode well for the company’s chances of expanding in North American markets.
“This approval is definitely an important stepping stone,” notes InvestorPlace analyst Louis Navellier. He also adds that “Even if U.S. approval remains elusive, India itself is a huge market.”
Ocugen is clearly close to an important milestone. Investors should be watching OCGN stock as the WHO’s verdict nears.
On the date of publication, Samuel O’Brient 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.