The stock of biotech firm Tiziana Life Sciences (NASDAQ:TLSA) was the second-most purchased on Robinhood Friday. In a single day, it added over 13,000 investors.
With Tiziana’s ticker symbol looking very similar to Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA), you could be forgiven for confusing one for the other.
It may be reasonable to conclude that Friday’s surge was mainly attributed to millennial investors piling into TLSA thinking they are buying Tesla. But there could be more to the story.
The massive buying of Tiziana’s stock coincided with the biotech firm submitting a patent application that could potentially see it cash in on the pandemic.
Specifically, the patent application covers the use of its immunomodulator known as Foralumab for the treatment of COVID-19 . An immunomodulator is a chemical agent that stimulates antibody response to fight disease. Foralumab is administered via the mouth or nose.
This information caused the stock to surge. On Friday, Tiziana’s stock closed 41.27% higher . At one point, the stock had risen by 145% before paring gains.
Tesla, meanwhile, has been on a losing streak for the past few days. On Friday, Tesla closed nearly 4% lower. Since hitting a record high of almost $1,800 earlier in July, the stock has lost about 20% .
If Robinhood investors were buying thinking it was Tesla, there was nothing material they were acting on. At a time when Tesla was declining, the heavy Friday buying certainly wasn’t reflected.
This is not the first time that possible confusion between the ticker symbols is being attributed to large movements for TLSA.
Last month, it was speculated that Tiziana’s stock was rising because of a possible stock ticker symbol mixup with Tesla’s. Among those who advanced this argument included Nilesh Shah, who boasts of over 400,000 Twitter followers.
The previous rally coincided with Tiziana announcing it had submitted a patent application covering the use of Foralumab in enhancing the CAR-T therapy for the treatment of cancers and other diseases.
About a week later, the stock fell. The decline was blamed on the fact that the confusion had been cleared up .
This, too, coincided with Tiziana announcing the exercise of 88,580 warrants , which would have resulted in dilution–a perfectly reasonable reason for investors to sell.
There may be some investors who are buying and selling Tiziana’s stock, thinking it is Tesla. Given that these significant price moves are occurring around material announcements, the confusion is likely limited to just a few. Many are likely acting based on fundamentals.
Plus, the respective prices of the two stocks are worlds apart–TLSA is in the single digits while TSLA is trading at four figures.