The world is racing to find a vaccine for the deadly coronavirus and a number of companies are showing signs that they could have the answer.
The world is in an extremely important race to find a vaccine for the coronavirus that sparked a global pandemic. There are roughly 135 vaccines undergoing preclinical trials and 20 that are now being tested on humans. There are a number of pharmaceutical companies ahead of the pack, and whoever does win will generate billions of dollars in profits and be responsible for injecting trillions of dollars back into the economy.
Novavax (NASDAQ: NVAX) is proving to be a frontrunner and recently received the biggest contribution from the federal government program dubbed “Operation Warp Speed”, to boost efforts for the vaccine. The Pharmaceutical company was handed a whopping $1.6 billion which will allow it to carry out trials, commercialization, and the production of potential COVID-19 vaccines.
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In the past month, Novavax stock has shot up by more than 100% and it could keep climbing with the results from Australian trials to be made public by the end of July. The coronavirus is not the only focus for the company, Novarax is also creating a potential flu vaccine for adults over 65 years of age. This injection has already gone through phase 3 of clinical trials and could further boost the company.
However, Novavax is not yet turning a profit and has $25.9 million in losses. The biotech firm is facing fierce competition from other big contenders and much of its future success will depend on the outcome of its coronavirus vaccine. During this uncertain time, Novavax has $244.7 million in cash.
This company revealed promising results from its phase one trial on humans, seeing its stock soar 16% following the news. Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) was also selected to be a part of Operation Warp Speed to assist the company to produce a vaccine. The most recent results found a robust immune response to the virus after testing it on 45 people. Moderna will soon carry out a late-stage trial on 30,000 participants in 87 locations.
Moderna made $8.4 million in revenue for the first-quarter which is a huge drop on the $16 million it posted at the same time last year. However, the company still has $1.7 billion in cash and cash equivalents and the backing of $700 million in grants and awards. Its net loss was $124.2 million due to its high number of expenses related to managing the coronavirus.
Despite the debt, Moderna is one of the leading companies when it comes to finding a vaccine. If the results of the next phase of trails are anywhere near as good as the most recent announcement then this stock will likely jump again.
3. Inovio Pharmaceuticals
Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: INO) is also showing promising results with its DNA-based coronavirus vaccine, with a 94% success rate in its phase 1 trial. This company is a small drugmaker and its shares have jumped by more than 600% so far this year.
While Inovio Pharmaceuticals is trying to urgently find a vaccine for COVID-19, there is also another trial being carried out for the treatment of precancerous cervical dysplasia caused by the human papillomavirus. If this vaccine proves to be successful it will also shoot the company’s shares even higher.
The company is yet to turn a profit and at its most recent earnings call posted a total loss of $32.5 million, but did end the quarter with $270 million in cash. The business may not be one of the bigger biotech companies but it is taking a different approach with its vaccine, something that could lead to big returns if it continues to prove successful.
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