Ocugen (NASDAQ:OCGN) stock was up nearly 15% today in premarket trading after the biotechnology company announced that Washington University has signed a licensing agreement with the company for its intranasal Covid-19 vaccine. However, after the market opened, it dropped down to only about 3% in the green.
The deal will see Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri help to develop, manufacture and commercialize Ocugen’s Covid-19 vaccine in the United States, Europe, and Japan. This represents a significant step forward for Ocugen’s Covid-19 vaccine, which is delivered to patients through a nasal spray.
Prior to today’s move higher, OCGN stock had been down 60% this year and trading at $1.88 a share, putting it deep in penny stock territory.
In a news release, Ocugen said it and Washington University plan to work closely with various U.S. government agencies that are responsible for pandemic preparedness to initiate clinical trials of the Covid-19 nasal spray vaccine as soon as possible.
“Ocugen is excited about the potential for this vaccine to be a universal booster,” said Dr. Shankar Musunuri, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and co-founder of Ocugen. “We look forward to working with U.S., European, and Japanese regulators to expedite development.”
Why It Matters
Based in Malvern, Pennsylvania, Ocugen had focused primarily on developing treatments for various eye diseases. The company pivoted during the pandemic and went all in on the development of a Covid-19 treatment. However, while Ocugen’s vaccine has been approved for emergency use in India, it has yet to receive any approvals in America from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
That Washington University is going to help commercialize Ocugen’s Covid-19 nasal spray could help to eventually get the treatment the required FDA approvals so that it can sell it within the U.S. Many industry analysts have applauded Ocugen’s efforts to turn its vaccine into a nasal spray that people can administer themselves rather than have to get a needle at a medical clinic.
As Covid-19 evolves and becomes endemic pharmaceutical companies are developing new treatment methods ranging from pills to nasal sprays.
What’s Next for OCGN Stock
Ocugen’s stock gets a much-needed boost today on news that it is partnering with Washington University to speed up the development and potential approval of its Covid-19 vaccine in the U.S. and other markets around the world.
However, while the partnership with Washington University is encouraging, investors should keep in mind that Ocugen’s Covid-19 nasal spray has not yet entered clinical trials and has a ways to go to get approval from the FDA — if it is approved.
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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.