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Ishan Majumdar
Ishan Majumdar
Articles (115)  | Author's Website |

NanoViricides: New Covid-19 Drug Candidates Could Boost Performance

The research-focused biopharma player has made progress in developing and testing

Biotech and pharma companies all over the world are engaged in the development and testing process of their respective drug and vaccine candidates to counter the Covid-19 pandemic.

While companies like Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO) and Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) have advanced rapidly on the vaccine development, others, such as Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) and NanoViricides (AMEX:NNVC), are more focused on the development of a treatment drug.

NanoViricides a relatively small, research-focused player that has been in the news ever since the company started the process of developing a Covid-19 treatment along with its other research on viral diseases such as herpes, shingles, seasonal influenzas, eye diseases, etc. The company has made some promising progress in its drug development, which is why its stock has started gaining momentum recenlty.

Treatment progress

NanoViricides CEO Dr. Anil Diwan has conducted extensive research on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which is another type of coronavirus. The company's two newly developed drug candidates have manifested high anti-viral effectiveness in cell culture studies against two different, unrelated coronavirus strains. According to management, the assays evaluated a visible reduction in host cell death upon viral infection as a result of the company’s drug candidates.

Specifically, NanoViricides researchers tested its candidates against hCoV-NL63, a milder strain of Covid-19, and hCoV-229E, one of the strains of coronavirus that causes seasonal common colds in humans.

NanoViricides vs. favipiravir

Favipiravir, or T-705, is a commonly used antiviral medication that became a generic last year and is being tested for its effectiveness against Covid-19. The NanoViricides management claims that its drug candidates have been far more effective on the two forms of coronavirus tested as compared to favipiravir. The unique mechanism of NanoViricides, which traps virus particles, appears to be highly effective. 

Collaboration

Apart from the successful development and the ongoing testing of its drug candidates, NanoViricides made a significant development on the partnerships front when it signed a Confidential Disclosure Agreement with an Asian pharmaceutical player to explore collaboration on the Covid-19 program.

While NanoViricides is yet to disclose the name of the Asian pharma company, they have revealed that the company has experience in drug development of novel technology platform-based drug candidates, along with a strong presence in terms of both marketing and research and development in many Asian countries. 

Stock price outlook

Like any typical research-focused biotech company, NanoViricides has seen its stock gain news-based momentum, rising to levels above $11 after its Covid-19 drug development process commenced a couple of months ago.

The stock has since corrected to levels below $5 before gaining momentum again after the above-mentioned developments and crossing the $7 level.

While the stock carries the speculative risk of being a zero-revenue, research-focused biotech micro-cap, the company’s progress has been rapid. I believe it is worth keeping on my watch list as a high-potential biopharma stock.

Disclosure: No positions.

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About the author:

Ishan Majumdar
I am a qualified Chartered Accountant with a Masters in Management (Grande Ecole) from HEC Paris. I run a proprietary boutique financial advisory firm called Baptista Research (www.baptistaresearch.com) specializing in M&A, corporate advisory, equity research and valuation of listed companies.

I have nearly a decade of experience spread across investment banks, financial advisory firms, investment funds and other corporates in many different geographies, such as France, Spain, India and others. I was a part of the LBO Financing team at BNP Paribas where I worked on deals with a combined enterprise value of over $1 billion. I have also worked in mergers and acquisitions with Credit Agricole CIB and corporate strategy with Groupe Danone SA. Over the years, I have developed a strong specialization in corporate valuations, strategy and financial analysis.

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