Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights Ocugen, Voyager Therapeutics, BioNTech, Regeneron and Gilead Sciences


For immediate release

Chicago, IL – March 10, 2022 – announces the list of stocks featured in the analyst blog. Every day, Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Ocugen OCGN, Voyager Therapeutics, Inc. VYGR, BioNTech BNTX, Regeneron REGN and Gilead Sciences, Inc. GILD.

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s analyst blog:

Biotech Stock Roundup: OCGN, VYGR and More

Ocugene made headlines, thanks to its regulatory updates. Additionally, other vital information dominated the biotech sector this week.

Recap of the most important stories of the week:

Ocugen Down on Regulatory Update: Ocugen shares fell after news that the FDA refused to issue an emergency use authorization (EUA) for its COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin. OCGN was seeking EUA for Covaxin to actively immunize COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 in people 2-18 years of age. As a result, the OCGN said it will continue to work with the FDA to infer the regulatory path forward for vaccinating children with Covaxin.

Voyager strengthens its agreement with Novartis: Shares of Voyager Therapeutics, Inc.. (increased after the company announced an agreement with Novartis. Under the terms of the agreement, NVS receives specific access to Voyager’s new TRACER AAV capsid for potential use with three CNS targets plus options to access the capsids for two additional targets. In exchange, Voyager will receive $54 million upfront and is entitled to receive up to $37.5 million in exercise fees for options tied to the three initial RNC targets.

Novartis may also choose to evaluate capsids for up to two additional targets. Voyager will receive $18 million when selecting each target and an exercise fee of $12.5 million for selecting a capsid for each target. Voyager is also eligible to earn up to $1.5 billion in potential development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments, as well as mid- to high-single-digit royalties based on net sales of Novartis products incorporating licensed capsids.

Voyager currently wears a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the full list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

BioNTech collaborates with Regeneron: BioNTech announced that it is expanding its strategic collaboration with Regenerate. BioNTech and Regeneron plan to jointly conduct studies, evaluating the FixVac BNT116 candidate in combination with Libtayo for the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The two companies will share development costs equally.

The agreement follows BNTX’s existing collaboration where the combination of its FixVac candidate BNT111 with Libtayo is being evaluated for advanced melanoma. Additionally, BNTX is investigating and sponsoring a preliminary study, which is evaluating the combination of Libtayo with its candidate FixVac BNT112 for prostate cancer.

Data on Gilead’s Trodelvy: Gilead Sciences, Inc.. announced positive results from the phase II TROPiCS-02 study, which is evaluating its breast cancer drug Trodelvy (sacituzumab govitecan-hziy) in patients with HR+/HER2- metastatic breast cancer who received prior hormone therapy, CDK4/6 inhibitors, and two to four lines of chemotherapy. The study met its primary endpoint with a statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) compared to physician’s choice of chemotherapy.

The trial aimed for a 30% reduction in the risk of disease progression or death. The results of the primary endpoint were consistent with those observed in the phase I/II study IMMU-132-01 in a subgroup of patients with HR+/HER2- metastatic breast cancer. The drug is already approved for second-line metastatic triple-negative breast cancer and second-line metastatic bladder cancer.

The study also showed a trend towards improved overall survival (OS), a key secondary endpoint. Final data on the OS endpoint is expected in 2024. Gilead will continue to follow patients for the overall survival outcome.

What’s next in biotechnology?

Stay tuned for more pipeline and regulatory updates.

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