Shares of Ocugen (NASDAQ:OCGN) stock are up 5% today after the company released positive results related to a booster shot of Covaxin, the vaccine its partner Bharat Biotech has developed.
So what do you need to know?
In a news release, Ocugen said that people who received a booster dose of Covaxin saw significant immune responses, raising the potential of the vaccine candidate to help manage the global pandemic and new variants of Covid-19.
Investors likely know that regulators have not yet approved Covaxin in the United States or Canada. However, the latest positive results are raising hope that Ocugen’s could receive emergency-use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
What Happened With OCGN Stock
In a news release, Ocugen said that its India-based partner Bharat Biotech achieved positive results from a Phase 2 clinical trial of Covaxin that was given to people ages 12-64. Trial participants were given a booster dose of Covaxin six months after receiving their second dose, and the booster was found to be very effective at lessening the severity and duration of Covid-19 symptoms. Additionally, participants did not report any serious adverse events such as hospitalization or death.
“These booster data provide critical information about how Covaxin can be used in the ongoing battle against COVID-19. We are encouraged by these results which continue to suggest that Covaxin remains an important, broad-spectrum vaccine candidate with durability,” said Dr. Shankar Musunuri, chairman and co-founder of Ocugen, in the news release.
Why It Matters
Ocugen and its stock have been on a rollercoaster ride over the last year. Ocugen’s stock price is up 63% in the last year, but has slumped 42% in the past six months as approval of Covaxin in North America has been repeatedly delayed. Regulators have authorized the vaccine in India, and the hope is that Covaxin will soon be an option for many other nations around the world.
Before the pandemic, Ocugen had specialized in treatments for eye diseases that cause blindness. The company pivoted sharply to focus on a vaccine against Covid-19 once the pandemic hit, partnering with Bharat Biotech on Covaxin. Ocugen has said that it hopes Covaxin can help treat new variants and strains of Covid-19.
What’s Next for Ocugen
As it typically does, OCGN stock will move today on news related to its Covid-19 drug candidate. The good news for shareholders is that today’s move appears to be taking the share price higher rather than lower. How long the stock remains elevated though will depend on the successful outcome of Covaxin’s approval in Canada, and, especially, the U.S. Until the FDA moves the approval process further along, investors should expect Ocugen’s stock to remain volatile.
On the date of publication, Joel Baglole 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.