Why Consider These 2 Stocks When Markets Are Crashing?
Amid the Covid-19 panic, investors may want to take a look at these 2 stocks.
(1) Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (REGN)
The company is moving forward with a multi-pronged approach to battle the pandemic - (a) identifying anti-bodies to neutralize the virus, and (b) Trying its existing, approved arthritis treatment on Coronavirus patients to reduce fever and lung inflammation, and bring down the need for respirators.
Why consider this stock?
*Last week, the company announced that it identified hundreds of virus-neutralizing antibodies that could potentially treat COVID-19 or Coronavirus, and from these would select the top two antibodies to develop a 'cocktail' therapy. It expects to start testing patients in June and begin manufacturing at large scale by the end of summer.
*Regeneron's strength lies in its VelociSuite technology, a proprietary, rapid response platform to combat the outbreak. This includes the VelocImmune platform that uses unique, genetically-engineered mice with humanized immune systems, and can be challenged with all or parts of a virus of interest, facilitating swift identification, preclinical validation and development of promising antibody candidates.
*End-to-end capabilities that can help the company manufacture anti-bodies at scale without outsourcing work, thereby avoiding delays and friction at any transfer point.
*The company is also testing its Kevzara, a rheumatoid arthritis drug co-developed with Sanofi (SNY) - to bring down fever and block lung inflammation in Covid-19 patients to prevent the need of a respirator. The only other drug in this class is Actemra, developed by Roche and has proven to be effective.
*Regeneron came up with a successful Ebola treatment. Good chances of replicating the same success with Covid-19.
*Endorsement from President Trump - "Regeneron was — is a company which is also working very hard on a drug, and it's also — they're doing very well. They are the ones that came up with a very successful solution to Ebola. And they've been a fantastic company. "
*Even beyond the Covid-19, Regeneron has significant pipeline advancements and solid revenue drivers. Eylea, Regeneron's blockbuster eye drug, which fetched U.S. net product sales of $1.22 billion in Q4 vs. total company revenues of $2.17 billion. That is more than 50% of total Q4 revenues. Eylea has received regulatory approval to treat all stages of diabetic retinopathy - reducing the risk of blindness. A competing eye drug from Novartis triggered concerns about vision-loss, reinforcing the support for Eylea. Regeneron is pushing Eylea for use in preventive settings.
(2) Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD)
The company's experimental drug Remdesivir is seen as one of the more promising treatments for coronavirus.
Why consider this stock?
*Company leads the pack in producing a potential Coronavirus treatment. Clinical trial readouts are expected as early as next month.
*A failed Ebola treatment, Remdesivir has demonstrated some success in animal models in treating MERS and SARS, viruses structurally similar to 2019-nCoV - the new viral strain responsible for the current catastrophe.
*Remdesivir received the orphan drug designation from the U.S. FDA, which provides a seven-year market exclusivity period, as well as tax and other incentives for the company.
*Endorsement from a WHO official - "There is only one drug right now that we think may have real efficacy and that's Remdesivir," quote from Bruce Aylward, an assistant director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO).
*Remdesivir was mentioned by U.S. President Donald Trump as a treatment 'showing great promise.'
*Gilead is temporarily halting access to Remdesivir, due to an exponential increase in compassionate-use requests for the drug. So, pre-approval demand is soaring. Must mean something...
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