Why Is Ocugen (OCGN) Stock Up 7% Today?

  • Ocugen (OCGN) is advancing a drug candidate for retinitis pigmentosa (RP) to a Phase 3 trial.
  • The company is also working on treatments for other eye diseases.
  • Ocugen became a meme stock in 2021 when it tried to bring an Indian Covid-19 vaccine to market. 
Ocugen stock - Why Is Ocugen (OCGN) Stock Up 7% Today?

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Ocugen (NASDAQ:OCGN) stock rose about 10% over the weekend. This comes after the company won U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance to advance its rare eye disease treatment to a Phase 3 trial.

OCU400 is a gene therapy being developed for retinitis pigmentosa (RP). RP causes the retina at the back of the eye to break down over time, eventually resulting in blindness.

Shares of OCGN are up more than 7% as of this writing, at around $1.90 per share and a market capitalization of roughly $485 million. The company has reported no revenue for three years.

OCGN Stock: Eying a New Meme

Ocugen became a meme stock during the pandemic because it had a Covid-19 vaccine candidate. During 2021, OCGN stock traded for more than $13 per share at one point.

Now, Ocugen is back thanks to two drug candidates.

OCU410 is getting an early test for patients with macular degeneration, while the RP-targeting drug is called OCU400. RP may affect roughly 2 million people worldwide.

Founded in 2013, Ocugen came public in a reverse merger in 2019. The company tried to bring an Indian Covid-19 vaccine called Covaxin to market in late 2020. Ocugen eventually faced a shareholder lawsuit after Covaxin failed to take off.

Ocugen’s latest eye-related treatments are a return to its roots. The company is still being led by co-founder and CEO Shankar Musunuri. Before founding Ocugen, the executive founded Nuron Biotech and, before that, worked at Pfizer (NYSE:PFE).

In a business update issued on April 2, Ocugen said it had $39.5 million in cash at the end of 2023. The company also said it has begun early stage trials on OCU410ST, a treatment for Stargardt disease.

What Happens Next?

Phase 3 trials are expensive and take a long time. Ocugen may be unable to bring its drugs to market without raising new money.

On the date of publication, Dana Blankenhorn 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.

Dana Blankenhorn has been a financial and technology journalist since 1978. He is the author of Technology’s Big Bang: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow with Moore’s Law, available at the Amazon Kindle store. Tweet him at @danablankenhorn, connect with him on Mastodon or subscribe to his Substack.

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