Jan 21, 2022 (WallStreetPR via Comtex) -- Just when we started to think it was over, Omicron popped up and reminded us that this thing is a whole lot more complex than just a simple bug. The pandemic has been with us for two years now, and it looks more and more like it will be with us for a whole lot longer.
The latest idea is that Omicron could be the last wave of what scientists frame as a "pandemic". But the next stage is the "endemic" - the longstanding participation of Covid-19 in the global human microbiome. In other words, we are going to need to shift to long-term solutions to restore our way of life.
For investors, this defines the parameters of a long-term investment theme worth paying attention to. With that in mind, we take a look at a few of the most interesting opportunities in the space below.
Novavax Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202614340/composite NVAX -9.46% focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of vaccines to prevent infectious diseases.
It provides vaccines for COVID-19, seasonal flu, respiratory syncytial virus, Ebola, and Middle East respiratory syndrome.
Novavax Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202614340/composite NVAX -9.46% recently announced that Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has granted approval for provisional registration of NVX-CoV2373, Novavax' COVID-19 vaccine (adjuvanted), for active immunization to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2 in individuals 18 years of age and older. The vaccine will be supplied to Australia under the brand name Nuvaxovid
"The grant of provisional registration of Nuvaxovid by the TGA reflects Novavax' increasing momentum around the globe and represents the first-protein based COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use in Australia," said Stanley C. Erck, President and Chief Executive Officer, Novavax. "While the world continues to grapple with the ever-changing nature of the virus, we look forward to delivering our vaccine to the people of Australia. We would also like to extend our gratitude to the Australian clinical trial participants who contributed so significantly to the development of our vaccine."
The stock has suffered a bit of late, with shares of NVAX taking a hit in recent action, down about -31% over the past week. Over the past month, shares of the stock have suffered from clear selling pressure, dropping by roughly -53%.
Novavax Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202614340/composite NVAX -9.46% managed to rope in revenues totaling $178.8M in overall sales during the company's most recently reported quarterly financial data — a figure that represents a rate of top line growth of 13.9%, as compared to year-ago data in comparable terms. In addition, the company has a strong balance sheet, with cash levels exceeding current liabilities ($1.9B against $1.8B).
Oncotelic Therapeutics Inc /zigman2/quotes/201542691/composite OTLC -0.49% bills itself as an artificial intelligence driven immuno-oncology company with a robust pipeline of first in class TGF-B immunotherapies for late stage cancers such as gliomas, pancreatic cancer and melanoma.
OT-101, the lead immuno-oncology drug candidate of Oncotelic, is a first-in-class anti-TGF-B RNA therapeutic that exhibited single agent activity in relapsed/refractory cancer patients. OT-101 also has shown activity against SARS-CoV-2 and has completed a phase 2 trial against COVID-19, with data cleaning and evaluation and datalock ongoing.
Oncotelic Therapeutics Inc /zigman2/quotes/201542691/composite OTLC -0.49% most recently announced that it has performed mutational analysis of SARS-CoV-2 and demonstrated that the open reading frames 8 is potentially driving the evolution of the Delta and the Omicron variants. ORF8 protein is abundantly secreted in COVID patients. Fatality in hospital patients is associated with higher serum levels of ORF8. ORF8 is one of the least well conserved and most variable parts of the SARS-CoV-2 genome.
"It is gratifying to identify what we think is the fundamental evolutionary pathway for SARS-CoV-2," said Dr. Vuong Trieu, CEO and Chairman of Oncotelic. "The analysis allows us to position our therapeutic and vaccine platform against ORF8 to address this pandemic as it further mutates."
OTLC shares are up over 60% since November, leading the Covid stock space.
Oncotelic Therapeutics Inc /zigman2/quotes/201542691/composite OTLC -0.49% noted in its release that it has identified 30 high entropy amino acid residues which underwent a progressive evolution to arrive at the current dominant variant - Delta variant. The virus underwent mutational waves, with the first wave made up of structural proteins important in its infectivity, and the second wave made up of the ORFs important for its contagion. The most important driver of the second wave is ORF8 mutations at residue 119 and 120. Further mutations of these two residues are creating new lineage trees that are offshoots from the Delta backbone. More importantly the further mutational expansion of the S-protein in the emerging Omicron variant is now followed with the acquisition of ORF8 mutations 119 and 120.