Growing concerns about the rise of monkeypox in Europe and the United States have sent shares of several vaccine and pharmaceutical companies.
Although infections are rarely reported outside Central and West Africa, according to the World Health Organization, as of Saturday, 92 cases have been confirmed this month in countries where the monkeypox virus is not endemic, including Europe and the United States.
At least three cases have been confirmed in the United States in the past year, including one among an adult male who recently traveled from Canada to Massachusetts. (No deaths have been reported.)
Last Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning to healthcare providers about recent clusters, and President Joe Biden weighed in, saying monkeypox was “something everyone should be concerned about.”
Several companies that have developed smallpox vaccines or therapeutics have seen their share prices skyrocket, and some of those drug makers may be familiar to investors who focused on stocks after China’s first new coronavirus outbreak in early 2020. Was eventually identified as SARS-CoV-2.
GeoVax Labs Inc. GOVX,
Its shares rose 70% in trading on Monday afternoon. The company, which has no approved or approved products, focuses on modified vaccine Ankara-based (MVA) technology. “It is also important to consider that when monkeypox occurs, the health authorities go directly to the MVA; Proven efficiency, security and durability, ”Jason McCarthy of Maxim Group told investors. “This is a platform and gives special legitimacy to MVA as GeoVax.” GeoVax is developing the Covid-19 vaccine, which includes a booster and a vaccine for those immunocompromised, although those shots are still in Phase 2 clinical trials.
EBS, Emergent Biosolutions Inc.
Whose stock rose 7.3% in Monday’s trading. Emergent has an FDA-approved smallpox vaccine called ACAM2000; The company announced last week that it had acquired Chimerix Inc. Has bought the exclusive rights of CMRX,
Treatment of antiviral smallpox, Tembexa, in a deal worth up to $ 337.5 million and royalty. “Emergent now offers a wide range of product lines to combat a monkeypox / smallpox outbreak in the United States and around the world,” Benchmark’s Robert Wasserman wrote in a note to investors last week. Emergency manufacturing problems for Johnson & Johnson JNJ,
The first in the epidemic was the COVID-19 vaccine, which slowed the pharmaceutical giant’s shot rollout.
Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. INO,
Which recently scrapped its COVID-19 vaccine plan and fired its CEO. Monday’s stock rose 4%. In 2010 the company stated that it had placed an experimental smallpox vaccine in a pre-clinical study that evaluated its effectiveness against monkeypox. Inovio last updated investors about the trial in 2011.
There is also an activity for another group of vaccine and drug manufacturers, which includes:
Siga Technologies Inc. SIGA,
Its shares fell 8.0% in Monday’s trading. The company received FDA approval last week for the treatment of smallpox, an intravenous formulation of Tpoxx. That treatment is already approved as oral therapy in Canada, Europe and the United States. Earlier this month, the company said the Department of Defense had agreed a 7.5 million deal to buy a dose of oral Tpoxx.
Bavarian Nordic BVNKF,
The stock fell 4.6% on Monday afternoon. The company has an MVA vaccine for smallpox and monkeypox called Zinnios, Immune or Imvanex. It said last week that the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority had used the option to purchase 13 million doses of Genius for 9 119 million.
Although there is an overlap between the Covid-19 vaccine and treatment development and those who have worked with vaccines and treatments for smallpox and monkeypox, there are several key differences between SARS-CoV-2 and monkeypox infections, including the level of US preparedness.
According to Raymond James analysts, the United States has already stockpiled smallpox vaccine, which could protect against monkeypox, to vaccinate the entire population of the United States.
“We have a vaccine against this,” White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha told The Week on Sunday. “We have treatment against it. And it spreads very differently from SARS-CoV-2. It is not as contagious as covid. So, I’m confident we’ll be able to put our weapons around it. “
The first human monkeypox case was detected 50 years ago in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the first monkeypox outbreak in the United States occurred in 2003, when contact with an estimated 43 people in six states confirmed the case. According to Raymond James analysts, pet prairie dogs were kept close to animals imported from Ghana.
“Based on what we currently understand about strain conduction, we believe the United States is much more prepared for an outbreak of monkeypox than for any other infectious disease,” analysts Raymond James told investors this week.
S&P 500 SPX,
This year it has decreased by 18.1%.