DENVER, Colo., July 23, 2020- Yesterday’s announcement that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agreed to purchase up to 600 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, from Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and its development partner BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX), is the latest example of why biotech continues to lead the greater market.
The move is driving Pfizer closer to par on the year, but smaller biotech players, like BioNTech, which is closing in on 1,000% overall gains and 500% for 2020, are making much bigger moves.
This dynamic seems to be driving the venture biotech market, as well, with multiple venture listings, like Emmaus Life Sciences, Inc. (OTCQB:EMMA), Innovation Pharmaceuticals (OTCQB:IPIX), AXIM® Biotechnologies, Inc. (OTCQB: AXIM), and GeoVax Labs, Inc. (OTCQB:GOVX), gaining steam.
Emmaus Life Sciences, best known for its sickle cell disease treatment, has basically doubled in the past 3 months and has been gaining since it recently announced that it engaged Partner International “to lead the out-licensing activity for Emmaus’ prescription grade L-glutamine (PGLG) oral powder for use in the treatment of diverticulosis.” Emmaus intends to pursue a Phase III trial under the FDA’s abbreviated 505(b)(2) regulatory pathway for its prescription grade L-glutamine (PGLG), which is the same Emmaus active pharmaceutical ingredient that is approved by the FDA to reduce acute complications of sickle cell disease in adult and pediatric patients five years of age and older. Diverticulosis is potentially a much larger market.
Innovation Pharmaceuticals has also doubled, after posting even greater gains in recent months. The clinical stage biopharmaceutical company recently reported receiving new data from ongoing laboratory testing being conducted at a U.S. Regional Biocontainment Laboratory (RBL). The data is helping to inform the planned Phase 2 clinical trial of Brilacidin for COVID-19, targeted to commence in Q4 2020.
Innovation Pharmaceuticals published that “Recently released in vitro data showed Brilacidin exhibited a potent inhibitory effect on SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus responsible for COVID-19, in a human lung epithelial cell line—reducing viral load by 95 percent and 97 percent at two efficacious concentrations tested, compared to control (DMSO).”
AXIM® Biotechnologies is on the move today, after announcing, this morning, the completion of a study highlighting the performance of NeuCovix™, AXIM’s rapid test to measure levels of neutralizing anti-COVID-19 antibodies. This morning’s release stated “NeuCovix™ test was compared to a gold standard pseudovirus-based test. NeuCovix™ accurately classified serum from patients who strongly neutralized SARS-CoV-2 and serum from patients who poorly neutralized the virus. Additionally, NeuCovix™ did not cross-react with serum from patients with seasonal respiratory infections including seasonal coronaviruses, suggesting that the test has 100 percent specificity for COVID-19.”
GeoVax Labs is a clinical-stage biotechnology company that uses its Modified Vaccinia Ankara – Virus-Like Particle (MVA-VLP) vaccine platform to develop human vaccines against infectious diseases. It’s currently focused on preventive vaccines against COVID-19, HIV, Zika virus, Hemorrhagic Fever viruses (Ebola, Sudan, Marburg, Lassa), and malaria, as well as therapeutic vaccines for chronic Hepatitis B infections and cancers.
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