Good recent news about a pipeline drug trumped discouraging developments with a licensed coronavirus vaccine.
Clearly going for the Yo-Yo Stock of the Day title, Ocugen ( OCGN 4.54% ) fell by as much as 7% in early trading Monday before bouncing back to close almost 4.6% higher. The rollercoaster was put in motion by some dispiriting news about the coronavirus vaccine the company has licensed.
On Saturday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it has suspended the supply of Covaxin through United Nations procurement agencies. In doing so, it recommended without elaboration that countries currently using the vaccine “take action as appropriate.”
The WHO’s announcement is based on an inspection it made in mid-March on the manufacturing process of the vaccine. During this proceeding, it identified a “need to conduct process and facility upgrade[s] to address recently identified deficiencies in good manufacturing practices (GMP).”
The organization added that the shot’s developer, India-based Bharat Biotech, has pledged to rectify the situation. However, the suspension will result in an interruption in supplies of the vaccine.
While Ocugen is not the manufacturer of Covaxin, it does hold the exclusive North American commercial rights for the jab with a license from the Indian company.
So it’s little wonder that Ocugen stock took a hit in early Monday trading. The later price upswing might have had something to do with the biotech company’s most recent proprietary news item, which was inarguably positive.
Last Friday, Ocugen announced it had dosed its first patient in a phase 1/2 clinical trial of its OCU400 pipeline drug. The study aims to gauge the efficacy of OCU400 in treating retinitis pigmentosa, a rare eye disease. On reflection, investors likely considered this to be a more impactful development for the company than the regulatory hiccup with Covaxin.