OCGN Stock: Why Covid-19 Vaccine Play Ocugen Is Shooting Higher Today

Ocugen (NASDAQ:OCGN) is getting another big boost in trading on Wednesday thanks to its vaccine development partner Bharat Biotech. So what happened? And what else should you know about OCGN stock here?

A needle rests on a reflective table next two clear glass vials of a clear liquid.Source: Shutterstock

As a quick refresher, Ocugen is a biotech company that traditionally focuses on treating rare vision conditions that cause blindness. However, sensing a major opportunity, it entered the Covid-19 vaccine race. Through Bharat Biotech, an Indian vaccine specialist, it is hoping to bring COVAXIN to the United States. This is because Ocugen has signed an agreement to handle commercialization of the Covid-19 vaccine in the U.S. pending approval.

In recent days, rumors about emergency-use authorizations and news of supply deals with Brazil sparked hope for OCGN stock. And just earlier this week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi received his first dose of COVAXIN. This comes as India moves into its second phase of vaccine rollout, with Bharat Biotech one of two firms supplying doses.

While this is all good news, what has Ocugen up 35% in pre-market trading?

It turns out that Bharat Biotech is continuing to make progress. Today, the firm shared the first interim analysis of its Phase 3 COVAXIN clinical trials. These trials enrolled 25,800 participants between 18-91 years of age. Additionally, Ocugen and Bharat shared that the interim analysis is based on 43 cases of Covid-19 among trial participants. The companies said 36 cases were observed in the placebo group, while seven were observed in the COVAXIN group.

The bottom line? COVAXIN thus far has an efficacy rate of 80.6%.

What Does This Mean for OCGN Stock?

So what does this mean for Ocugen and OCGN stock? And what comes next?

The first step is that Bharat Biotech is going to take the data from its interim analysis, and will work toward sharing more final results. In the company press release, it says the final analysis will include 130 cases of Covid-19. Another interim analysis will come for 87 cases. It will share results from the interim and final analyses in pre-publication servers and is already preparing to submit trial results to a peer-reviewed journal.

Investors should note though that Bharat Biotech has already found success in India. Its vaccine is part of a major, nationwide rollout. Other countries like Brazil have also already signed onto acquire doses. At this point, favorable trial results just sweeten the deal. For Ocugen though, they are key.

As Ocugen CEO Shankar Musunuri said today in the press release, this is a huge step for Ocugen. It positions the company well to receive an EUA from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. And according to Musunuri, COVAXIN is just what the U.S. needs to add to its fight against Covid-19.

Keep a close eye on this news, and for any talk of FDA action. Investors are also hoping for an emergency-use authorization of a vaccine from Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) in the near future.

On the date of publication, Sarah Smith did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. 

Sarah Smith is a Web Content Producer with InvestorPlace.com. 

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