Biopharmaceutical company Ocugen (NASDAQ:OCGN) can’t catch a break. Even after promising news related to Covaxin approval, OCGN stock is down more than 4% on the day as the markets continue to digest its mixed-basket earnings call.
So what do you need to know?
It’s an understatement to say that Ocugen has something in the cooker. Partnered with Bharat Biotech on Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin, Ocugen will attempt to tap into Western markets after requesting the jab be granted emergency-use authorization (EUA) for children under 18. This would make it only the second vaccine approved for pediatric use behind Pfizer (NYSE:PFE). Covaxin has already received an emergency-use listing (EUL) from the World Health Organization (WHO) for adult use.
However, for Ocugen’s stake, which lies exclusively in the United States and Canada, Covaxin approval for kids would help it recoup its investment in an already-saturated market.
Covaxin has reported comparable efficacy to Pfizer and Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA), and superior results to Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ). However, with many Americans having already received at least one jab, the promise of vaccine approval may not be enough to boost OCGN stock. Despite receiving the emergency-use nod from the WHO, COVAXIN still needs authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This timeline is a key part of the bearish argument on Ocugen.
Now though, OCGN is attempting to carve out a competitive advantage with the mostly unclaimed children’s market.
What Is Going on With OCGN Stock Today?
While vaccines tend to hog the spotlight for pharma companies, Ocugen reported promising news this morning related to its novel gene-therapy projects. In addition to its plea for Covaxin, OCGN submitted another Investigational New Drug (IND) application for a breakthrough gene-therapy candidate, OCU400.
Ocugen’s flagship gene-therapy treatment has shown potential to lessen or eliminate the effects of retinal degeneration — also known as blindness. The experimental process has only been tested on mice so far, with encouraging results. The success of the OCU400 IND application rides on the outcomes of the first two phases of clinical trials. The trials are estimated to start within the next few months, and should provide a telling window.
So with promising updates on multiple fronts for Ocugen, why are shares down today? It seems that investors are apprehensive about the murky short term, regarding its pleas for Covaxin approval in the U.S. Additionally, the company announced this morning a loss of $10.8 million for the quarter, or 5 cents per share. That comes in worse than Wall Street estimates for a loss of 4 cents per share.
Right now though, these updates shouldn’t be overlooked. They could be a major game changer for the company — and OCGN stock — a few years down the line. Should things pan out for Ocugen, it’s just 4% cheaper today to get in on what could be the next Pfizer.
On the date of publication, Shrey Dua did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
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