- Emergent Biosolutions (NYSE:EBS) – makes a proven smallpox vaccine that may be used for monkeypox
- Bavarian Nordic (OTCMKTS:BVNRY) – boasts a monkeypox vaccine approved in the U.S.
- Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO) – reported minor vaccine progress
- SIGA Technologies (NASDAQ:SIGA) – recently received a thumbs up from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Tonix Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:TNXP) – has a promising smallpox vaccine in its pipeline
- Geovax Labs (NASDAQ:GOVX) – seeks to treat both Covid-19 and monkeypox with one vaccine
- Chimerix (NASDAQ:CMRX) – recently sold its smallpox drug to Emergent
It’s a new week and monkeypox cases are increasing. Usually found in Africa, cases have recently cropped up in the United States, Canada and Europe. Recently, The New York Times reported 92 confirmed cases as of May 21, as well as “28 suspected cases” across 12 countries outside of Africa.
Recently, President Joe Biden addressed the Osan Air Base in South Korea and discussed the virus. He stressed that “it is something that everybody should be concerned about.”
Several companies are responding to this concern, however, working hard to provide monkeypox vaccines. Just as Covid-19 gave rise to a new vaccine boom, this new outbreak may also soon send a new group of biotech stocks upward. In fact, some companies have also already made progress on monkeypox vaccines. BVNRY stock surged last week after Bavarian Nordic received U.S. and European orders for its vaccine. Now, other monkeypox stocks are moving as vaccine progress thrusts them into the spotlight.
Let’s take a look at these seven monkeypox stocks to watch.
Monkeypox Stocks to Watch: Emergent Biosolutions (EBS)
This biopharma company is known for producing ACAM2000, a vaccine proven to be effective at treating smallpox in high-risk patients. Reports indicate that the vaccine may also work against monkeypox. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes the following:
“ACAM2000, which contains a live vaccinia virus, is licensed for immunization in people who are at least 18 years old and at high risk for smallpox infection. It can be used in people exposed to monkeypox if used under an expanded access investigational new drug protocol.”
As InvestorPlace contributor Larry Ramer reports, monkeypox and smallpox are part of the same family. Therefore, it makes sense that EBS stock is gaining attention for ACAM2000.
Bavarian Nordic (BVNRY)
Last week, Denmark-based biotech company Bavarian Nordic emerged as a leader among monkeypox stocks — and for good reason. The company’s smallpox vaccine boasts authorization in three major markets: the U.S., Canada and Europe.
In both the U.S. and Canada, this vaccine comes “with the approval extended to cover the monkeypox indication.” While it only has smallpox authorization in Europe, the company says it has been “provided for off-label use in response to monkeypox cases” before.
Both the U.S. and Europe were quick to place large vaccine orders last week, sending BVNRY stock up. More nations will likely follow suit if cases increase.
Monkeypox Stocks to Watch: Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO)
For this synthetic DNA-focused firm, the first vaccine race didn’t go as planned. INO stock plunged earlier this month when the company scrapped its Covid-19 vaccine in favor of a booster shot. Shares have seen some recent interest alongside other monkeypox stocks, however.
That said, Inovio doesn’t appear to be as far along as some of its peers. In 2010, the company announced that its smallpox vaccine had been featured in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. Since then, not much progress seems to have been made.
Still, with its smallpox vaccine connection, INO stock is worth keeping an eye on.
SIGA Technologies (SIGA)
Like other names on this list, SIGA Technologies is also the maker of a successful smallpox vaccine. Last week, the company took a major step forward when the FDA granted approval for a formulation of tecovirimat (TPOXX). TPOXX is approved in the U.S., Canada and Europe as a smallpox treatment for those unable to swallow capsules.
In Europe, TPOXX is also approved to treat monkeypox, cowpox and “complications from immunization with vaccinia.” The TPOXX IV formulation has been “cited in the recent U.S. president’s budget request as being used to treat a patient in the U.S. with monkeypox.”
Euronews reports that SIGA is already in talks with European Union (EU) leaders who want to stockpile the drug.
Monkeypox Stocks to Watch: Tonix Pharmaceuticals (TNXP)
When Tonix reported earnings for the fourth quarter of 2021 earlier this month, the recent monkeypox cases had not yet been reported. However, the company still emphasized that it’s pipeline includes TNX-801, a vaccine aimed at preventing smallpox and monkeypox. Tonix describes the vaccine in further detail on its website:
“TNX-801 is a novel, live virus vaccine based on synthesized horsepox (sHPXV) […] TNX-801 has unique properties that Tonix believes it may lower toxicity and offer potential safety advantages over existing vaccinia-based vaccines, which have been associated with adverse side effects such as myocarditis/pericarditis.”
That said, this vaccine is still only in its pre-clinical stage. That puts it behind some other treatment options on this list.
Geovax Labs (GOVX)
Geovax Labs CEO David Dodd recently posted about the potential of a modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) vaccine for both monkeypox and Covid-19: GEO-CM04S1. According to Dodd, this vaccine is currently in its Phase 2 trials. He added that Geovax “is evaluating additional studies to further validate the potential benefits of GEO-CM04S1, in additional Covid-19 populations and specifically against monkeypox virus.”
This news sent GOVX stock soaring yesterday. However, its not the first time Geovax has discussed the potential of MVA vaccines to treat monkeypox. In March 2020, Chief Scientific Officer Farshad Guirakhoo noted that the MVA viral basis of the vaccine vector “has more than 50 years of safety records,” having been “approved by the FDA for prevention of smallpox and monkeypox diseases.”
Monkeypox Stocks to Watch: Chimerix (CHMX)
The final entry on this list of monkeypox stocks actually involves two companies. Recently, Chimerix made headlines when it announced plans to sell its smallpox treatment drug Tembexa to Emergent Biosolutions in a $337.5 million deal. This acquisition matters for Emergent because Tembexa is the “first antiviral to be approved for the treatment of smallpox in all age groups.”
Chimerix reported disappointing Q1 earnings. However, it has still been gaining attention because of the monkeypox outbreak. Looking forward, its drug may certainly be an important player in the fight against monkeypox because it can be administered to small children.
It’s unclear what that will mean for CHMX stock itself. Still, EBS stock will likely see gains in the coming weeks; the company now offers one of the biggest product lines to combat monkeypox.
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On the date of publication, Samuel O’Brient did not hold (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.