As the wider stock market continues to plunge amidst the coronavirus outbreak, some biotech stocks have been spared and are surging.
Since last week’s close, the S&P 500 index has dropped from 3338 points to around 3070 in Thursday’s premarket hours, a fall of over 8%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average index has fallen by just about the same number of percentage points during the same period. This has come as the number of coronavirus COVID-19 cases across the globe escalates.
But amidst the stock market bloodbath, select biotechnology stocks have weathered the storm and appreciated by double-digit figures. Predictably, they are on the verge of either developing a cure for COVID-19 symptoms or a vaccine.
Below are three biotech stocks that have stood out:
Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna, Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA) announced on Tuesday that it had sent an experimental COVID-19 vaccine to U.S. government researchers for the Phase 1 study. The stock has since then soared by over 56% from $18.55 to above $29.
Trials of the vaccine tentatively labeled mRNA-1273 could start in April. It could take at least a year to get the vaccine approved if successful.
Moderna started developing the vaccine six weeks ago. This was right after coronavirus COVID-19 started taking on epidemic proportions in China.
Maryland-based Novavax, Inc (NASDAQ:NVAX) announced on Wednesday that it will start COVID-19 vaccine trials on humans this spring. The biotech stock initially surged from $7.95 to $11.20, a gain of nearly 41%. It is now up 16% from Tuesday’s close.
Novavax was previously involved in developing vaccines for the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) earlier this week received a strong endorsement from the World Health Organization. This was after an official with the international body said that the firm’s drug known as remdesivir could potentially cure coronavirus COVID-19.
On Wednesday, Gilead announced it had received “investigational new drug authorization” from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to study remdesivir as a cure for COVID-19. Gilead has already initiated two Phase 3 studies.
The biotech stock is consequently up by slightly over 7% from last week’s close of $69.70.
This article was edited by Samburaj Das.