Pursuing coronavirus cures is proving to be a major development in the market, as anyone who hits on anything that even sort of looks like it will get us back to normal gets plenty of attention and interested investors. One of the latest names on the list in the race for a cure is Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:REGN), and it's made a major leap forward not on the vaccine front, but on the treatment front instead.
Like a Cold Pill, But For a Pandemic
The latest reports noted that when tested on animals—specifically 50 hamsters and 36 rhesus macaque monkeys—Regeneron's treatment not only treated COVID-19 in those who already had the disease but also prevented others from getting it outright. While the study involved has yet to undergo peer review, the word out of Regeneron was that its COVID-19 treatment could almost completely block the virus from even getting set up in an organism in the first place.
Better yet, the animals in question who took the treatment did not show any sign that might suggest future problems, like an increased quantity of the virus' presence in the animals' systems or a “worsening of pathology.” If it works in humans the way it works in animals, then this could be exactly what's needed to block the virus before it can really gain a foothold.
Just to top things off, reports from a second study found that animals that had a much higher level of the virus in them had their infection rates minimized as a result of the drug. Though in lower-yield testing, when the dose of the drug was reduced, any preventative effect was also reduced.
A Flash in the Pan?
We've talked about Regeneron before, back in November of 2019, discussing the possibility that the company could keep its stock price growth and momentum on the upward track that it found itself in back then. Looking at the company's one-year chart makes it abundantly clear that it not only could, but did.
The upward momentum we referred to back in November 2019 was positively dwarfed by the upward momentum that's been seen since then. While the company spent the last half of 2019 in a slowly-upward track, trading around the $300 level, about November it started a climb upward that led to the share price more than doubling in the last year. There was a small scoop taken out of the upward track, but amazingly enough, that divot hit in late January and early February. It had nothing to do with the massive and wholly indiscriminate sell-off that hit the market in mid-March.
In fact, the company's biggest upward climb started around late February, going from $403.15 on February 21 to its current level of $643.63 as of this writing. That's over double what it was this time last year, proving that, indeed, Regeneron's growth and momentum not only built, but are continuing to build to this day. The latest move in a COVID-19 front should only serve to bolster further gains that were already being seen.
A Product Everyone Wants
As much as we tend to focus on vaccines, we tend sometimes to forget about treatments when it comes to disease treatment. Vaccines have delivered some staggering blows to diseases over the years. Just ask anyone you know who's had smallpox lately, if you know anyone who qualifies.
Still, for some diseases, we don't even think about vaccination; the cold, for example—which is itself a breed of coronavirus—or even the flu, though some of us do get flu vaccines with the hope that, this year, it will actually cover the right kind of flu. We think instead about treating it when it does hit, and that's actually got a lot of people's attention.
There are those out there who aren't planning to take a COVID-19 vaccine when it does hit, for a range of reasons. The vaccine will likely be too new and untested for some, others find the notion of vaccines unpalatable to begin with, and some will likely be concerned about treatment costs. This represents a nice slice of a niche market to sell into and should give Regeneron a boost on its bottom line.
Of course, as we've already seen happen, this process may get short-circuited by the federal government stepping in and buying up said treatment for later distribution, if it works in humans the way it does in hamsters and rhesus macaques. Only time will tell if Regeneron has a new and powerful weapon against COVID-19 on its hands, and what benefit it will ultimately be to the company.
Companies Mentioned in This Article
Compare These Stocks
Add These Stocks to My Watchlist
7 Retail Stocks That Defied The Pandemic
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck there was no reason to think a retailer, any retailer, would be able to come out alive. After all, the economy was looking at a month or more of shut-down and most retailers survive on a thread of profits. What most analysts failed to consider is the health of the economy going into the pandemic and what that meant for spending power.
The U.S. economy was on the brink of acceleration way back in February of 2020. It was a different time, employment was at its strongest in decades and the consumer was flush. Yes, the stimulus checks helped drive the trends I am alluding to but spending on Stay-at-Home, Home-Improvement, and Outdoor Living began well before those checks were mailed.
What we are about to show you is a group of stocks that were able to defy the pandemic. Some of them were perfectly positioned for the crisis and surfed it like the wave of profits it was. Some were able to adjust and come back fighting. Others circled the wagons and waited out the storm. In all cases, the businesses are supported by a healthy eCommerce presence and benefit from brand recognition, a combination that has digital sales up triple-digits from 2019. And some of them pay a good dividend too!
View the "7 Retail Stocks That Defied The Pandemic".