- Cases of monkeypox are increasingly being reported across the world, including Canada.
- Healthcare stocks, particularly the vaccine makers, are again in the spotlight as monkeypox.
- SIGA Technologies’ IV product has reportedly been highlighted to be used for monkeypox treatment by the CDC.
Healthcare stocks, particularly vaccine makers, are back in the spotlight as cases of monkeypox are increasingly being reported across the world, including Canada.
Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) reported a total of 26 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the country on Thursday, May 26. Apart from Quebec, Ontario too has reported its first case of the disease, as per PHAC.
Montreal public health has been examining oral and genital ulceration cases since May 12 to find a clue to monkeypox. The nation's health authorities said that close and prolonged contact is needed for monkeypox to spread, due to which, the risk of transmission is said to be comparatively lower than COVID-19.
According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), monkeypox originated from the same family of viruses as variola that causes smallpox. Experts believe that smallpox vaccines can potentially protect against the monkeypox virus. Historical records from Africa also suggest that the smallpox vaccine can be at least 85 per cent effective against monkeypox.
Let us discuss five vaccine stocks to watch amid surging monkeypox cases in Canada.
SIGA Technologies Inc (NASDAQ: SIGA, SIGA: US)
SIGA Technologies Inc delivered its first delivery of intravenous (IV) TPOXX, worth about US$ 7 million, under the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) base contract in Q1 2022. The company's IV product has reportedly been highlighted to be used for monkeypox treatment by the CDC.
SIGA Technologies received a contract from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) on May 12 to procure up to US$ 7.5 million of oral TPOXX. Under this contract, about US$ 3.6 million of oral TPOXX is scheduled for delivery this year, and the remaining contract is optional and can be exercised at the discretion of the agency.
SIGA stock zoomed by about 19 per cent in one week. According to Refinitiv data, its Moving Average Convergence/ Divergence (MACD) indicator significantly grew above its zero line and its Relative Strength Index (RSI) also breached 80-mark (overbought) in May.
Chimerix Inc (NASDAQ: CMRX, CMRX: US)
Chimerix Inc is an American biopharma firm that developed TEMBEXA®, a treatment for smallpox for patients of all age groups and those with difficulty in swallowing. The FDA approved this oral antiviral formulation for smallpox treatment on June 4, 2021. On May 16, Chimerix signed a definitive agreement with Emergent Biosolutions Inc (NYSE: EBS, EBS: US) to sell TEMBEXA®.
CMRX stock was approximately up by 14 per cent up from a 52-week low of US$ 1.57 (May 17). CMRX’s RSI value was less than 30 on May 25, indicating that its stock was oversold in the market, as per Refinitiv.
Emergent Biosolutions Inc (NYSE: EBS, EBS: US)
Emergent Biosolutions is a small-cap company that produces speciality vaccines for public health threats. The US$ 1.7 billion market cap company already has its own smallpox vaccine, ACAM2000®. The addition of TEMBEXA® would expand and diversify its medical product portfolio.
EBS stock spiked by about 19 per cent in one week and held an RSI value of 49.53 on May 25, according to Refinitiv.
Tonix Pharmaceuticals Holding Corp (NASDAQ: TNXP, TNXP: US)
Tonix Pharmaceuticals is a US-based pharmaceutical firm developing a vaccine for smallpox and monkeypox, TNX-801. The clinical-stage firm believes that TNX-801 may reduce toxicity and offer potential safety compared to existing vaccines with side effects.
TNXP stock climbed almost four per cent in one week. However, its RSI stood at 24.8 on May 25, as per Refinitiv.
Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: INO, INO: US)
Inovio Pharmaceuticals is a small-cap biotech company engaged in multiple clinical programs to develop DNA medicines to treat infectious diseases like COVID-19, Lassa fever, Ebola, etc.
INO scrip jumped by roughly eight per cent from a 52-week low of US$ 1.6 (May 11). This biotech stock’ RSI value was marginally up from the oversold mark of 30 on May 25, as per Refinitiv findings.
With a rise is monkeypox cases, the vaccine stocks discussed above could see a surge in stock prices as demand for inoculation increases. However, it can be crucial to note that companies still developing vaccines are at a lesser advantage and riskier than those that have already commercialized helpful vaccines.
Please note, the above content constitutes a very preliminary observation based on the industry, and is of limited scope without any in-depth fundamental valuation or technical analysis. Any interest in stocks or sectors should be thoroughly evaluated taking into consideration the associated risks.