The coronavirus is no laughing matter. So far, the virus has infected around 200,000 people with more than 7,000 deaths around the world. In fact, the condition is so serious that it’s changing the shape of the United States as we know it.
Schools are shutting their doors for weeks at a time, concerts are being canceled, conferences are nonexistent and many are scared to leave their front doors. Not to mention, the market has been halted due to severe declines multiple times over the past week.
While the market seems to be a sea of red, there are a few opportunities to see tremendous gains through these widespread losses. As the old saying goes, if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em, and companies joining the fight against COVID-19 are seeing dramatic runs in the value of their stock.
However, there’s a bit of an issue here. Everyone and their mothers seem to be working on vaccines and several companies seem to be working on treatments. Nonetheless, there are only a handful of companies that actually have something viable and a strategic advantage in the commercialization of these potential options. Here are the five coronavirus stocks that I believe every investor should be paying attention to.
Aytu BioScience (AYTU) Stock: A Coronavirus Diagnostics Powerhouse
One of the most important tools that we have in the fight against any viral epidemic or pandemic is diagnostic testing. After all, without proper diagnostic testing, we don’t know who’s sick or how to treat them.
At the moment, there are a few players in diagnostics. OPKO Health (OPK) and Enzo Biochem (ENZ) are both already accepting specimens for testing. Aytu is in a whole different ball game and will likely become the leader in COVID-19 diagnostic testing.
Recently, Aytu BioScience licensed a coronavirus rapid test for commercialization in the United States. This particular test can provide results in around 10 minutes at point of care.
Of course, in times of a pandemic, speed of results is a key advantage, and AYTU can produce results faster than any other company. As such, I believe that the company will become the leader in COVID-19 diagnostics in the United States.
GT Biopharma (GTBP) Stock: A Heavy Hitter In COVID-19 Treatment
GT Biopharma’s claim to fame is its experimental TriKE product. Before the coronavirus, the product was being assessed as a potential option in the fight against AIDS and cancer. The early data from this work is proving to be promising as the immune response following treatment is impressive.
In fact, the immune response led to by TriKE therapy has the potential to be effective across a wide range of conditions. One of these conditions is believed to be COVID-19, and GTBP teamed up with Cytovance Biologics to explore this notion.
Under the partnership, the two will work to develop the TriKE as not only a vaccine, but a potential treatment for coronavirus patients. There are several key advantages here.
First and foremost, while the vaccine playing field is swamped with competition, there are only a few players on the treatment side of the coin. Among these few companies, even fewer actually have anything tangible, making GT Biopharma one of the leaders in the race.
Moreover, the company’s partner, Cytovance, is a subsidiary of Shenzen Hepalink Pharmaceutical Group. This is a publicly traded Chinese company with a market cap of around $4.5 billion. This partner not only adds strength in the development of the TriKE for coronavirus treatment and vaccination, it opens the door to China, where the coronavirus outbreak is most serious.
All in all, with a product that is likely to be effective, a strong partner, and an open door to the Chinese market, GT Biopharma may quickly become a driving force in the treatment and eradication of COVID-19.
iBio (IBIO) Stock: A Strong Vaccine And Manufacturing Play
While there have been plenty of companies that have announced work on a coronavirus vaccine, iBio was one of the first. The company teamed up with a Chinese company known as CC Pharming to develop a viable vaccine for the novel coronavirus. This particular team is one that will likely become a cornerstone in the coronavirus space.
First and foremost, CC Pharming is a very important part of this play. The Chinese company opens the door to the Chinese market. Not to mention, the company has already developed a vaccine for SARS. This is important as SARS is a sister strain of COVID-19. So, the experience here is incredibly valuable.
However, what iBio brings to the table is impressive as well. The company is the owner of the FastPharming Facility. This facility was built using grant funding to be able to manufacture vaccines quickly in times of a pandemic. It’s a COVID-19 type of situation that this facility was created for.
Of course, speed of manufacturing is going to be key here. So, even if the IBIO/CC Pharming team doesn’t develop the first vaccine, iBio is going to be a key contender when it comes to potential manufacturing relationships, making it a stock to watch closely.
Alpha Pro Tech (APT) Stock: A Coronavirus Equipment Play
Investors seem to be heavily focused on coronavirus vaccine and treatment development. However, another key factor here is equipment. In particular, face masks are flying off of the shelves and Alpha Pro Tech is a big winner as a result.
Alpha Pro Tech is the developer and manufacturer of the N95 face mask. This particular mask is in high demand at the moment, leading to an influx of orders. In fact, since late January, the company has clocked in over $20 million in orders and expects demand to continue climbing.
As such, the company is focused on ramping up production to meet demand. In a recent announcement, the company said that it would fulfil $4 million of current orders in the current quarter with the rest being fulfilled in Q3.
For a company that only does about $40 million in total annual revenue to clock more than $20 million in orders in a month and a week is a big deal. With expectations that demand will continue to grow, this is a stock to watch closely!
Moderna (MRNA) Stock: May Be The First To Bring A Vaccine To Market
Finally, we have Moderna. When it comes to the development of a vaccine, the company is leading the charge with regard to progress. In fact, on Monday, March 16, 2020, MRNA became the first to dose a patient in a coronavirus vaccine study.
Through the study, a small group of young, healthy volunteers are receiving the vaccine to ensure that there are no serious adverse events. From there, the company will move into larger studies, and eventually to market should all go well.
In times of a pandemic, being first is an incredible advantage. People are looking for vaccines right now, and the company that produces them first will likely lead the way when it comes to overall vaccine sales, making MRNA a stock that’s well worth watching.
COVID-19 is a horrible virus, and experts suggest that conditions will worsen before they improve. While this is leading to bloodshed across the market, cancellations of events and more, it is also opening the door to large potential opportunities. Take some time to dig into the tickers mentioned above as these are where I believe the largest opportunities lie.
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