Since Thanksgiving, most news has centered around the omicron variant and the speed at which it has been spreading. Many companies in the biopharmaceutical sector have been working to be the first to combat the newest Covid-19 strain. Vaccine makers, especially, have been scrambling to secure their spot as the next winner of the vaccine race alongside Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA). The latter began this week with some good news after reporting that its booster shot increased antibodies against the variant. Today, though, a much smaller company has announced progress in its own variant-combating cocktail. Aridis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARDS) may be the next name we start hearing about, if the progress made by ARDS stock is any indication.
What’s Happening With ARDS Stock
This morning brought the news that the little-known biopharmaceutical producer had confirmed that its monoclonal antibody cocktail had demonstrated a retained effectiveness against the new variant. According to the statement released by the company, “its fully human monoclonal antibody (mAb) cocktail AR-701 is broadly reactive against the omicron and other Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) variants, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus), and seasonal (‘common cold’) human coronaviruses.”
ARDS stock was quick to react positively to the news. Since markets opened today, it has shot up and is currently in the green by almost 33%. For a stock that has seen little traction recently, this type of progress is particularly noteworthy. However, even more noteworthy is the fact that today’s spike puts it up by almost 63% for the week and 47% for the month.
Why It Matters
Aside from Moderna’s recent news, there hasn’t been much progress specifically targeting the omicron variant through pharmaceutical innovation. However, so far the Aridis cocktail seems like it could be an important milestone in the fight against Covid-19. This is particularly important as the newest variant takes hold.
Indeed, this cocktail seems different from previously engineered treatments. According to the statement, AR-703, one of the components of the AR-701 cocktail, binds to the “S2” stalk region of coronavirus spike proteins that is responsible for viral fusion and entry into host cells, and binds to the Omicron variant with no loss in affinity as compared to the original strain.
Dr. Vu Truong, Ph.D., the company’s CEO, adds that AR-701, another key component is “the only Covid-19 therapy that targets two distinct viral mechanisms of action, making it much harder for the virus to generate resistance.”
Since the variant first surfaced, it’s been clear that a new treatment is going to be of paramount importance. This seems like a significant step toward exactly that as it has demonstrated an ability to help the human body fight against the new variant. The fact that it was engineered in such a short amount of time should also be noted. Indeed, this suggests that further adaptations to combat new variants may be more easily achieved should the need arise.
What It Means
ARDS stock has been surging today for good reason. If this cocktail has the abilities that the recent lab results suggest, it will continue to rise. Furthermore, the company will take its place alongside the giants of the pharma sector that helped us overcome the pandemic’s first waves.
This could truly be the stock market Cinderella story of 2022, and it’s still 2021. As it stands, ARDS is primed to be a breakout stock of the coming year. It’s definitely worth watching as the year unfolds.
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.