The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a dramatic realignment of social, cultural, and economic agendas because, in all cases, the healthcare issue has priority. It’s not a genuine public debate – if you don’t solve the healthcare crisis, you can’t solve any of the other crises that have been boiling over in the public discourse.
That puts a ton of pressure on the vaccine race. But an effective vaccine will take at least another 4-6 months, and probably longer than that. Which brings us to the coping tools: Therapeutics and diagnostics.
For investors, the coping theme is a treasure trove. Companies able to offer real resources to help manage the situation until a viable vaccine candidate is available will reap huge rewards. We profile several stocks on this interesting playing board here: Quidel Corporation (NASDAQ:QDEL), Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), Q BioMed Inc. (OTCMKTS:QBIO), and CytoDyn Inc (OTCMKTS:CYDY).
Quidel Corporation (NASDAQ:QDEL) leapt onto the stage in spectacular form on Monday after news spread that the FDA approved its antigen testing method following the close of trading last Friday. An effective antigen test is a superior option to the PCR RNA testing we have been leveraging thus far in our fight against the new coronavirus.
The QDEL antigen test is expected to change the game for testing for COVID-19, with results in minutes rather than days. That’s a key part of an effective “test and trace” approach to tracking and defeating this enemy. The stock exploded higher in response to the news, but there may still be room to run.
Quidel Corporation (NASDAQ:QDEL) frames itself as a company that develops, manufactures, and markets diagnostic testing solutions for applications in infectious diseases, cardiology, thyroid, women’s and general health, eye health, gastrointestinal diseases, and toxicology worldwide.
It offers Sofia and Sofia 2 fluorescent immunoassay systems; QuickVue, a lateral flow immunoassay products; and InflammaDry and AdenoPlus, a point-of-care products for the detection of infectious and inflammatory diseases and conditions of the eye.
The company also provides Triage MeterPro, a portable testing platform that enables physicians to promote enhanced health outcomes, as well as the detection of certain drugs of abuse; Triage BNP test for use on Beckman Coulter lab analyzers; and Triage TOX drug screen, which provides results for the determination of the presence of drug and/or the major metabolites in urine. In addition, the company offers traditional cell lines, specimen collection devices, media, and controls for use in laboratories that culture and test for various human viruses, including respiratory and herpes family viruses; and cell-based products comprising tubes, shell vials, and multi-well plates.
The stock has been ripping over recent days, up something like 50% in that time.
Quidel Corporation (NASDAQ:QDEL) pulled in sales of $174.7M in its last reported quarterly financials, representing top line growth of 18%. In addition, the company is battling some balance sheet hurdles, with cash levels struggling to keep up with current liabilities ($108.8M against $136.2M, respectively).
Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) is the leading player in the treatment, or therapeutic, domain when it comes to the pandemic. It’s ebola anti-viral asset, remdesivir, has shown legitimate promise as a weapon against COVID-19, especially when administered early in the disease progression.
That said, the results suggest this isn’t a “silver bullet” drug, and it has to be administered at a hospital, where few “early” patients ever are. But it does work, and evidence mounts that it represents a key part of our response puzzle.
Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) promulgates itself as a biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops, and commercializes therapeutics in the areas of unmet medical needs in the United States, Europe, and internationally.
The company’s products include Biktarvy, Descovy, Odefsey, Genvoya, Stribild, Complera/Eviplera, Atripla, Truvada, Viread, Emtriva, and Tybost for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in adults; and Vosevi, Vemlidy, Epclusa, Harvoni, Sovaldi, Viread, and Hepsera products for treating liver diseases.
It also provides Yescarta, a chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy for adult patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma; Zydelig, a PI3K delta inhibitor for certain blood cancers; Letairis, an oral formulation of an endothelin receptor antagonist for pulmonary arterial hypertension; Ranexa, a tablet to treat chronic angina; and Lexiscan, an injection for use as a pharmacologic stress agent in radionuclide myocardial perfusion imaging.
In addition, the company offers Cayston, an inhaled antibiotic for the treatment of respiratory systems in cystic fibrosis patients; Tamiflu, an oral antiviral capsule for the treatment and prevention of influenza A and B; AmBisome, an antifungal agent to treat serious invasive fungal infections; and Macugen, an anti-angiogenic oligonucleotide to treat neovascular age-related macular degeneration.
It will be interesting to see if the stock can break out of its recent sideways action. Over the past week, the stock is net flat, and looking for something new to spark continuation to the upside.
Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) generated sales of $5.5B, according to information released in the company’s most recent quarterly financial report. That adds up to a sequential quarter-over-quarter growth rate of -5.6% on the top line. In addition, the company has a strong balance sheet, with cash levels far exceeding current liabilities ($21B against $8.9B).
Q BioMed Inc. (OTCMKTS:QBIO) is a biomedical acceleration and development company that focuses on licensing, acquiring, and providing resources to life sciences and healthcare companies.
The company’s ace offering is Strontium Chloride SR89, a radiopharmaceutical therapeutic for the treatment of bone cancer pain therapies. Q BioMed Inc. has a research partnership with Mannin Research Inc. for the development of therapeutics to treat a variety of vascular diseases, including the new coronavirus.
In addition, the company is working on adjunct treatments for complications stemming from COVID-19. The main asset under development (rapid path) through the company’s partner, Mannin, is targeting the stabilization of ‘leaky vessels’ that play a critical part in organ injury, a major determinant of negative outcomes in patients affected by several infectious diseases, including influenza and the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Q BioMed Inc. is a biotech acceleration and commercial stage company focused on licensing and acquiring undervalued biomedical assets in the healthcare sector. Q BioMed is dedicated to providing these target assets the strategic resources, developmental support, and expansion capital needed to ensure they meet their developmental potential, enabling them to provide products to patients in need.
The company focuses exclusively in the biotechnology and healthcare sectors, targeting a broad spectrum of biomedical products and healthcare solutions. Q’s expertise is in business & product development and the capital formation required for phased advancement of products.
Q BioMed’s team assists companies by utilizing its strategic partners and network of experts to provide public market access for private company assets. 80% of biomedical start-ups lack capital and resources to transition from incubation to development and beyond.
Q BioMed Inc. (OTCMKTS:QBIO) expects to maximize risk-adjusted returns by focusing on value-driven assets from early stage to near-revenue businesses where the technical, regulatory, and commercial risks have been mitigated or where major valuation inflections are imminent.
CytoDyn Inc (OTCMKTS:CYDY) is another treatment play. The company is currently testing the efficacy of its HIV drug, leronlimab. So far, CYDY is actually riding a wave of positive momentum in terms of the direction of this narrative.
As a result, shares of the stock are up as much as 900% in the past 3-4 months.
CytoDyn Inc (OTCMKTS:CYDY) promulgates itself as a late-stage biotechnology company that focuses on the clinical development and commercialization of humanized monoclonal antibodies to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.
Its lead product is PRO 140, a therapeutic anti-viral agent, which is in Phase IIb extension study for HIV as monotherapy, rollover study for HIV as a combination therapy, Phase IIb/III investigative trial for HIV, Phase Ib/II trial for triple-negative breast cancer, and Phase II trial for graft-versus-host disease.
CytoDyn Inc. has strategic agreement with Samsung BioLogics Co. Ltd. for the clinical and commercial manufacturing of leronlimab. The company was formerly known as RexRay Corporation. CytoDyn Inc. was incorporated in 2002 and is based in Vancouver, Washington.
And the stock has been acting well over recent days, up something like 12% in that time.
CytoDyn Inc (OTCMKTS:CYDY) had no reported sales in its last quarterly financial data. In addition, the company is battling some balance sheet hurdles, with cash levels struggling to keep up with current liabilities ($7.1M against $41M, respectively).