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Coronavirus stocks: Businesses working on COVID-19 cures and treatments

Should your strategy involve the biotechs and health companies that are working toward a cure?

Updated

Some of the best-performing — albeit volatile — stocks of the last few weeks are companies that claim to be hunting for a COVID-19 cure.

Biotechs and health companies are among the sectors that will always be needed, even during a recession. Beyond that, investors can’t help but believe that finding a COVID-19 cure would be akin to striking gold — despite the fact that no one knows if a cure will ever be found.

If you’re among the hopefuls, these are the companies leading the way in the search for a COVID-19 cure.

1. Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD)

Gilead is a biopharmaceutical company listed on the NASDAQ that researches, develops and produces new medicines for life-threatening illnesses.

Its stock price jumped in March after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave it the green light for funding toward one of its experimental drugs (and touted potential cure) Remdesivir. It was set to start enrolling test patients in March 2020, with results out by May.

2. Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN)

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals is a biotech company focused on developing medicine for a diverse array of diseases.

Its coronavirus response has been twofold: first, developing antibodies to COVID-19 that could help treat or prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Second, a collaboration with Sanofi on an existing treatment that may be able to be utilized for treatment of COVID-19.

The antibody project could begin human testing as early as June, according to reports.

3. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ)

Johnson & Johnson is known for providing household healthcare products, but it also works in medical research and development.

In late January, it announced it was working toward the development of a vaccine for COVID-19 through its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies while collaborating with healthcare regulators.

4. Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA)

US biotech Moderna is focused on the development of new drugs through stem-cell technology and is one of the first in the world to begin human testing trials for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Its stock price jumped by more than 100% since COVID-19 became a global pandemic as governments in Europe and the US offered large funding rounds in support of its efforts to find a vaccine.

On April 16, the company announced it was receiving a $483 million government grant to accelerate the development and large-scale production of a coronavirus vaccine.

5. Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO)

Inovio is a US biopharmaceutical company that develops treatments for infectious diseases and cancers.

The company announced in late January it was developing a vaccine for the new coronavirus and was awarded $9 million for its efforts by health regulators. It has since received a further $5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and was set to start human trials of a COVID-19 vaccine in April.

6. VIR Biotechnology, Inc. (NASDAQ: VIR)

Immunology company VIR has seen its stock price jump around 60% in March and April, largely on the hopes that it will be the first to find a cure.

In April it announced it was moving forward with two candidates and was due to start human trials between June and August. VIR is also working with Chinese company WuXi Biologics. If a vaccine is approved, it will be commercialized in China through WuXi and marketed to the rest of the world under VIR.

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Bottom line

While much of the world is locked down, scientists are busy working on potential treatments and vaccines for COVID-19. There are no guarantees in the high-stakes world of pharmaceuticals, and the COVID-19 outbreak has made stocks especially volatile.

Do your own research before investing in any company and compare your options for trading platforms so you’re not spending unnecessary money on fees.

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