As the saying goes, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Or as Ocugen (OCGN) has adapted the phrase, if the world gives you Covid-19, make a coronavirus vaccine.
The company has been reaping the rewards as it has shifted its focus from finding solutions to eye conditions to one intent on bringing a Covid-19 vaccine to market. As a result, the stock has been a big gainer in 2021, even after pulling back significantly over the past couple of months.
On Wednesday, though, the shares resumed upside momentum, after the coronavirus shaped opportunity got another big push forward.
Ocugen has inked a deal with India-based Bharat Biotech for the US rights for the company’s Covid-19 vaccine COVAXIN. And Bharat has now reported positive second interim analysis results from the COVAXIN Phase 3 trials.
The vaccine displayed an overall efficacy rate of 78%, with 100% success against severe cases of the disease. COVAXIN also exhibited 70% efficacy against asymptomatic cases, which could be vital in thwarting asymptomatic spread.
“With these competitive results in hand,” said Roth Capital’s Zegbeh Jallah, “Ocugen believes it has sufficient information to support EUA filing in the U.S. If granted, this could lead to a significant revenue generating opportunity for Ocugen.”
Ocugen’s management has said it is now preparing for a US-based push. Jallah notes the company has stressed that before being made available to US patients, the initial Bharat batches will “undergo test and release” at an FDA-approved U.S. facility.
What’s more, to further improve product controls, subsequent batches manufactured at a U.S. CDMO will also be subject to test and release at the FDA-approved facility. Jallah says this aspect is noteworthy, as “many investors have been curious about this process.”
Due to COVAXIN's efficacy against novel mutants and storage advantages – the vaccine can be stored at normal refrigerator temperature - Jallah highlights his “continued conviction on positive outlook on the market opportunity.”
“Accordingly,” the analyst wrapped up, “We see potential for long-term use of COVAXIN as an initial shot and as booster in adults and pediatrics (age 16-18).”
To this end, Jallah reiterated a Buy on OCGN stock and has a $10 price target for the shares. Investors stand to pocket a 36% gain should the analyst's thesis play out. (To watch Jallah’s track record, click here)
Jallah’s colleagues are even more upbeat – going by the $12.5 average price target, the shares will get a 70% boost over the next 12 months. Overall, the analyst consensus rates OCGN stock a Strong Buy, based on 3 Buys vs. 1 Hold. (See OCGN stock analysis on TipRanks)
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