It is taken the S&P 500 index 25 years to rise greater than 500%. Ocugen (NASDAQ:OCGN) simply did it in two weeks.
Many traders have jumped aboard the Ocugen bandwagon after the drugmaker finalized a take care of Bharat Biotech to co-develop COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin for the U.S. market. A few of them have made a boatload of cash in a really quick interval.
However the fast progress for Ocugen’s share worth has tapered off now. The second for raking in huge income virtually in a single day appears to have handed. What ought to traders who missed the get together do now?
Neglect Ocugen! Here is a COVID inventory that would make you richer extra shortly.
A blast from the (close to) previous
Ocugen has been on a tear this yr, however the biotech inventory floundered in 2020. That wasn’t the case for Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX). Its shares skyrocketed 2,700% final yr and has greater than doubled to date in 2021.
Whereas Ocugen needed to workforce up with one other firm to leap into the COVID-19 vaccine race, Novavax did all of it by itself. It was among the many first drugmakers to start creating an experimental COVID-19 vaccine final yr and likewise ranked among the many most profitable.
On Jan. 28, 2021, Novavax introduced stellar outcomes from a U.Ok. late-stage examine of its COVID-19 vaccine, NVX-CoV2373. The biotech reported 89.3% general efficacy, together with a beautiful security profile.
Whereas that general efficacy was just a little decrease than ranges demonstrated by Pfizer‘s and Moderna‘s vaccines, there’s extra to the story. Novavax mentioned that the efficacy of its vaccine towards the prevalent coronavirus pressure was 95.6% — barely above Pfizer’s and Moderna’s efficacy ranges.
NVX-CoV2373 is the primary vaccine with scientific knowledge exhibiting that it gives strong safety towards an infection from the brand new coronavirus variant first recognized within the U.Ok., with an efficacy of 85.6%. In a separate section 2 examine performed in South Africa, Novavax’s vaccine additionally seemed to be efficient in offering safety towards the South African coronavirus variant with an efficacy of 60%. The U.S. Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) established a benchmark threshold of fifty% efficacy for a COVID-19 vaccine candidate to win emergency use authorization (EUA).
Close to-term catalysts
Why do I feel that purchasing shares of Novavax may make you richer extra shortly than investing in Ocugen? Novavax has a number of near-term catalysts, whereas Ocugen’s potential catalysts are possible additional sooner or later.
Novavax has already filed for authorizations of NVX-CoV2373 with regulatory authorities within the U.Ok., European Union, and Canada. A thumbs-up from any of those regulatory companies would nearly definitely ship the biotech’s shares larger.
Extra importantly, Novavax is speaking with the FDA in regards to the potential for securing EUA for NVX-CoV2373 primarily based on its U.Ok. examine outcomes. There isn’t any assure the FDA will associate with this method. Even when it would not, although, Novavax has its bases lined.
The corporate started a late-stage examine of NVX-CoV2373 within the U.S. and Mexico in December. Outcomes from that examine needs to be on the way in which throughout the subsequent couple of months. Assuming the efficacy and security profile from this pivotal examine are nearly as good as what Novavax reported from its U.Ok. examine, the biotech ought to have an excellent probability of profitable EUA within the U.S.
A lot much less dangerous
Novavax’s prospects for NVX-CoV2373 do not include a excessive degree of danger. The corporate already has robust outcomes from a late-stage examine plus a rising variety of provide offers with international locations all over the world.
It is a completely different story with Ocugen. Bharat Biotech gained EUA for Covaxin in India earlier this yr. Nevertheless, the vaccine continues to be in late-stage testing. Its efficacy degree hasn’t been firmly established.
Ocugen is in discussions with the FDA a few path to EUA and eventual full approval for Covaxin. I feel it is extremely possible that the corporate might be required to conduct its personal scientific research within the U.S. Enrollment in these research could possibly be difficult, with a number of vaccines already out there to Individuals.
Even when Covaxin wins EUA within the U.S., it could possibly be some time earlier than it achieves industrial success. The U.S. authorities already has provide offers in place with Pfizer, Moderna, Novavax, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson. The overall volumes for these offers are greater than sufficient to totally vaccinate all Individuals this yr and make a giant dent in 2022.
Additionally, Ocugen solely will get to maintain 45% of the income of any future U.S. gross sales of Covaxin. Bharat pockets the vast majority of the cash. Novavax, alternatively, will report each penny of income that NVX-CoV2373 makes within the U.S. market.
Perhaps Ocugen will change into a giant winner within the U.S. COVID-19 vaccine market. However I do not assume there is a “perhaps” with Novavax’s U.S. prospects.
Novavax’s shares will not soar as a lot as they did final yr. They in all probability will not double once more as they’ve executed to date in 2021. Nevertheless, if you happen to’re on the lookout for a strong achieve in a comparatively quick period of time, Novavax seems to be a greater different than Ocugen proper now.