Gilead, Regeneron, Amgen: Covid Treatment Stocks Still Worth Looking At As Vaccine Nears?
Our indicative theme on Covid-19 Treatment Stocks – which includes companies selling or developing treatments for Covid-19 – is up by 13% year-to-date, compared to the S&P 500 which is up about 4%. While anti-viral therapeutics are quite complex to develop, companies have largely been adapting existing therapies for Covid treatments while also developing new treatment options. Now the long-term demand for Covid-19 treatments is hazy, considering that the development of a safe and effective vaccine could drastically reduce or possibly eliminate the need for treatments. However, most of the companies on the list have other established products that provide significant downside protection. Below is a bit more about these companies and how they have fared this year.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals recently indicated that its experimental Covid-19 treatment that involves a cocktail of two antibodies was effective in reducing viral loads and improving symptoms in non-hospitalized Covid-19 patients. The stock is up 53% year-to-date.
Eli Lilly and Company is developing multiple potential neutralizing antibodies to prevent or treat the novel Coronavirus. The company is also working with Amgen to manufacture and boost supplies of the potential treatments. The stock is up 12% this year.
Gilead Sciences’ wide-spectrum anti-viral drug Remdesivir, which was initially developed for Ebola, received emergency authorization from the FDA for use in severely ill Covid patients in May and this was expanded in August to apply to any hospitalized patient. The five-day course of treatment is priced at $3,120 for private insurers. The stock is down by about -2.7% this year.
Incyte: is leveraging some of its existing drugs for Covid-19 treatment, including the arthritis drug baricitinib which it co-developed with Eli Lilly. The company is also working with Novartis on using a blood and bone marrow cancer medicine called ruxolitinib in Covid patients. The stock has remained roughly flat this year.
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