After a period of decline, Ocugen (OCGN) stock was back to winning ways on Wednesday. The market liked the company’s latest clinical update and sent shares up.
Data from a third-party study assessing Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin against variants of concern, showed a promising immune response of up to 6 months, and comparable to that following natural infection from the coronavirus.
While the analysis does not include the Omicron variant, Ocugen is currently testing Covaxin against it and intends on sharing the data as soon as it becomes available.
“Most notably,” says H.C. Wainwright’s Swayampakula Ramakanth, “COVAXIN demonstrated induction of CD4+ T cell response against conserved nucleoprotein, which we believe bodes well for COVAXIN’s potential protection against current and emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, including Omicron. We note that nucleoprotein is not a component of currently approved mRNA or adenovirus-based vaccines.”
That last part is important as it stands to differentiate the vaccine from the messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines which have exhibited waning efficacy when faced with the delta variant. These vaccines only target the spike protein while Covaxin is a whole-virion inactivated vaccine.
The company has acquired the US rights for Covaxin from India-based Bharat and the latest gains add to 2021’s huge share haul; despite pulling back significantly since early November, shares are still up by 195% year-to-date.
The shares were recently put under further pressure after the company announced that the investigational new drug (IND) application for Covaxin has been put on clinical hold by the FDA. The company is still awaiting the details on why the FDA has paused the IND for now.
Ramakanth evidently thinks the shares can surge much higher from here. The analyst has a $10 price target, suggesting room for 97% upside from current levels. (To watch Ramakanth’s track record, click here)
Amongst Ramakanth’s colleagues, 1 other agrees with his assessment and with 2 extra Holds, the analyst consensus rates this stock a Moderate Buy. The average target remains a bullish one; at $8.75, shares are anticipated to be changing hands for a 72% premium a year from now. (See OCGN stock analysis on TipRanks)
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