One of last year’s surprise hits in the biotech sphere, Veru (NASDAQ:VERU) is making headlines once again today. Currently, VERU stock is up 8%. Known for its Covid-19 therapeutic and other viral acute respiratory distress syndrome ( ) related diseases, the company just announced that Dr. David Ho will become the new Chairman of Veru’s Scientific Advisory Board.
As a “trailblazer of infectious disease viral research and therapeutic development,” Ho commands an impressive resumé. According to a company press release, Ho is the Founding Scientific Director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center and the Clyde and Helen Wu Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. On top of that, he is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
As if these accomplishments weren’t enough, Dr. Ho is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Further, he received his doctorate degree from Harvard Medical School and has received 14 more honorary doctorates throughout his career.
Veru Chairman, President and CEO Mitchell Steiner said the following about the appointment in the release:
“Today’s appointment of Dr. Ho as Chairman of Veru’s SAB illustrates our commitment to building a team of scientific experts to support our goal of developing and delivering life-saving therapies to patients with COVID-19 and other viral ARDS-related diseases […] Dr. Ho’s exemplary scientific contributions to the field, historically in HIV/AIDS and more recently in COVID-19, ideally position him to help shape the clinical development strategies of our expanding infectious disease program.”
A Biotech Hero Bolsters VERU Stock
While companies routinely sing the praises of their key pickups, Veru securing Dr. David Ho ranks well above the usual noise. Well known beyond the biotech ecosystem, Ho will help shine a fresh spotlight on VERU stock.
Perhaps most notably, Worchester Polytechnic Institute points out the following about Dr. Ho:
“TIME magazine bestowed upon Dr. Ho the ‘Man of the Year’ honor for his pioneering research and treatment of [AIDS]. In 2001, he was the recipient of the Presidential Medal. Dr. Ho has been at the forefront of AIDS research for 27 years, publishing more than 350 papers.”
In 2022, VERU stock jumped to prominence with its Covid-19 therapeutic called sabizabulin. Targeting the treatment of Covid-19 for hospitalized patients at high risk of ARDS, sabizabulin proved relatively effective. Although some uncertainty did exist over the data, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) noted that the underlying clinical study “met its prespecified primary endpoint of all-cause mortality at Day 60.”
At the time of the disclosure in November, VERU stock skyrocketed 40%.
Moving forward, Dr. Ho aims to leverage his expertise on infectious diseases to help with further development of sabizabulin. He stated the following in the release:
“[Veru] has generated compelling data on sabizabulin in COVID-19, and I am eager to collaborate with and help guide the management team regarding future development plans for sabizabulin treatment and its potential to work against additional viral ARDS-related diseases.”
According to the Council on Foreign Relations, some leaders believe Covid-19 will become endemic and more predictable and manageable as a result. However, scientists still warn about the dangers of Covid. As such, VERU stock may benefit from a large addressable market.
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On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto 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.