Monkeypox cases are driving up stock prices for these companies

Growing concern about the appearance of monkeypox in Europe and the United States has led to an increase in the shares of various pharmaceutical and vaccine companies.

Although infections are rarely reported outside of Central and West Africa, 92 cases have been confirmed this month in countries where the monkeypox virus is not endemic, including Europe and the United States, as of Saturday. , according to the World Health Organization.

At least three cases have been confirmed in the United States in the past year, including one in an adult male who recently traveled from Canada to Massachusetts. (No deaths reported.)

Last Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to health care providers about recent case groups, and President Joe Biden intervened, saying smallpox “is something that should be a concern. to everyone”.

Several companies that have developed smallpox vaccines or therapeutics have seen their stock prices rise, and some of these drug manufacturers may be known to investors who paid close attention to stocks that rose in early 2020. after China first revealed the outbreak of the new coronavirus. in Wuhan which was eventually identified as SARS-CoV-2.

This includes:

  • GeoVax Labs Inc. GOVX,
    + 66.91%,
    which saw its shares soar 70% on Monday afternoon. The company, which has no authorized or approved products, focuses on modified technology based on ankara vaccinia (MVA). “A key point to keep in mind is also that when the monkey’s smallpox arose, the health authorities went straight to MVA – proven effectiveness, safety and durability,” Maxim Group’s Jason McCarthy told investors. “This is validating for MVA as a platform and GeoVax in particular.” GeoVax has been developing COVID-19 vaccines, which include a booster and a vaccine for immunocompromised people, although these vaccines are still phase 2 clinical trials.

  • Emergent Biosolutions Inc. EBS,
    + 4.08%,
    whose shares gained 7.3% in trading on Monday. Emergent has an FDA-approved smallpox vaccine called ACAM2000; the company also announced last week that it had purchased the exclusive rights to Chimerix Inc.’s CMRX.

    smallpox antiviral treatment, Tembexa, in an agreement worth up to $ 337.5 million, plus copyright. “Emergent now offers the broadest product line to combat a smallpox outbreak in the United States and around the world,” Robert Wasserman of Benchmark wrote in a note to investors last week. Emergent had manufacturing issues for Johnson & Johnson JNJ,
    + 2.05%
    Vaccine against COVID-19 in the first of the pandemic that slowed the deployment of the vaccine of the pharmaceutical giant.

  • Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. AND NO,
    + 2.13%,
    which recently abandoned plans for its COVID-19 vaccine and dropped its CEO. Its shares rose 4% on Monday. In 2010, the company said it had put an experimental smallpox vaccine in a preclinical study evaluating its effectiveness against smallpox. The last time Inovio updated investors on the trial was in 2011.

There has also been intense activity for another group of vaccine and drug manufacturers, including:

  • Follow Technologies Inc. SIGA,
    which saw its shares fall 8.0% in trading on Monday. Last week, the company received FDA approval for an intravenous formulation of Tpoxx, its smallpox treatment. This treatment is already approved in Canada, Europe and the US as oral therapy. Earlier this month, the company said the Department of Defense had awarded a $ 7.5 million contract to buy doses of oral Tpoxx.

  • BVNKF Nordic Bavaria,
    which saw shares fall 4.6% Monday afternoon. The company has an MVA vaccine for smallpox and monkeypox called Jynneos, Imvamune or Imvanex. Last week he said the Advanced Biomedical Research and Development Authority exercised its option to buy 13 million doses of Jynneos for $ 119 million.

While there is an overlap between companies that have said they are developing COVID-19 vaccines and treatments and those that have also worked on smallpox and smallpox vaccines and treatments, there are several key differences between smallpox and smallpox infections. SARS-CoV-2 and smallpox, including US level of readiness.

According to Raymond James analysts, the U.S. has already stockpiled smallpox vaccines, which can protect against monkeypox, to vaccinate the entire U.S. population.

“We have vaccines against this,” Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House’s COVID-19 response coordinator, told The Week on Sunday. “We have treatments against it. And it spreads very differently to SARS-CoV-2. It’s not as contagious as COVID. So I’m sure we’ll be able to keep our arms around it.”

The first reported case of monkeypox in a human was detected 50 years ago in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the first outbreak of monkeypox in the United States was in 2003, when approximately 43 people in six states had confirmed cases such as as a result of contact with dogs from pet prairies that had been housed near animals imported from Ghana, according to analysts at Raymond James.

“From what we currently understand about the circulating strain, we believe the United States is much better prepared for monkeypox outbreaks than for other infectious diseases,” Raymond James analysts told investors this week.

The S&P 500 SPX,
+ 1.86%
has dropped 18.1% this year.

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