Since reports of the fast-spreading omicron variant began circulating, coverage has often centered around vaccine producers and their efforts to combat the virus as it manifests in new and unpredictable ways. Many vaccine stocks have been trending this week, but in an interesting turn of events, one company with the word vaccine in its title is making headlines for a different type of innovation. VBI Vaccines (NASDAQ:VBIV) recently confirmed that it has received good news from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Today, VBIV stock is reacting well to the news.
What Happened With VBIV Stock
December is off to a good start for VBI Vaccines, as it announced today that PreHevbrio, a new vaccine for the prevention of Hepatitis B, had received full FDA approval for administration to adult patients. It has been reported that the vaccine is effective against all previously identified subtypes of hepatitis B virus (HBV).
This news sent VBIV stock shooting up this morning. Although it’s come down a bit within the first hour of trading, it is still up almost 4% as of this writing. The past week has seen the stock remain mostly stagnant, hovering just below the $3 mark. With today’s gains, though, it is currently up by more than 14% for the past five days. Despite hitting a period of decline in late November, VBIV stock is still up by more than 3% for the month.
Why It Matters
In the age of Covid-19, medical conditions like hepatitis don’t receive much attention. However, that doesn’t mean that innovations made my companies seeking to treat them aren’t worth noting. PreHevbrio is unique because it is the only three-antigen HBV vaccine currently approved for adults in the U.S. The surface antigens it contains are the S, pre-S2 and pre-S1. Additionally, its approval was based upon the data from Phase 3 clinical studies, PROTECT and CONSTANT.
The vaccine has been touted by some experts in the field. According to a statement issued by the company, Senior Vice President of the Hepatitis B Foundation Chari Cohen specifically touted the benefit that this new vaccine brings to the study of the prevention of the disease. As she stated,
“Having more vaccine options will help us effectively expand vaccine uptake, ensure more people are protected from hepatitis B infection, and reach the 2030 goal of eliminating hepatitis B in the U.S.”
Company President and CEO Jeff Baxter noted that the vaccine’s progress was only the first step in VBI’s mission of helping strengthen public health by providing broad access to vaccines designed to prevent HBV infections.
What It Means
VBIV may still be a penny stock by definition, but it is has been generating positive coverage all year. In fact, it has been named to lists of emerging stocks to watch within the biotech sector. In September 2021, InvestorPlace contributor Thomas Niel flagged it as a penny stock that was likely to skyrocket after receiving FDA approval.
Today, it received it. We don’t know how high VBIV stock will soar within the coming weeks, but it is certainly worth watching. This is particularly true for any investors eyeing the biotech sector for a bullish play.
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.