News of the omicron variant of Covid-19 has sent vaccine makers into a frenzy, as companies race to make further adaptations. Many of the leading vaccine makers have already begun testing and developing new products. But there is also one lesser-known name seizing on an opportunity to better establish itself. This company, iBio (NYSEMKT:IBIO), trades at less than $1, but IBIO stock has been rising all day on vaccine speculation. In fact, shares closed up 29%.
What Happened With IBIO Stock
Investors may recall that iBio is not exactly a new name to the vaccine race. In fact, earlier in the pandemic, IBIO stock popped on its hopes for fighting Covid-19. However, with companies like Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) pulling ahead, iBio has been stuck on the sidelines. Many experts have therefore written it off as a former meme stock with no further utility.
Today, the company is changing that narrative. This growth likely stems from the fact that the company has worked hard to leverage fear of the growing variant, emphasizing the need for new vaccines. As Chairman and CEO Tom Isett noted in a statement released by the company:
“The emergence of Omicron has strengthened our belief that a next-generation vaccine development strategy such as iBio’s, which targets the genetically more conserved nucleocapsid, or N, protein rather than the mutable S protein, is needed to help overcome this pandemic.”
Why It Matters
It’s clear that the company is correct in its sentiment that the sudden rise of the omicron variant has highlighted the need for further vaccine innovation. It’s also clear that the variant’s mutations stand to pose a unique challenge to vaccine developers. While each variant has been different than previously detected strains, none so far has included a mutation count as high as that of omicron. So far, the latest strain is thought to include 30 mutations.
This could provide a unique opportunity for iBio, though. Isett also shared that the company is expecting feedback from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2022.
What It Means
While most of the surges that we saw from vaccine producers across the board today were the product of speculation and media buzz, iBio certainly stands to benefit if it has, in fact, identified a unique area of vaccine development that could help combat the new variant and the threat it poses.
It’s hard to assess the future of a company, particularly one trading at penny stock levels, when its rise has been the result of speculation. That said, iBio stands out from its competitors today, in no small part because its statement on the recent news involving its industry was different.
We’re still learning about the omicron variant and the extent to which it will effect current vaccines, but IBIO stock is certainly worth watching as it develops.
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.