The first report of the recent monkeypox outbreak was on May 13, 2022. On June 2, 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that there had been 780 cases of monkeypox. These cases were from non-endemic countries like Europe and the United States. The WHO also said most cases have been through sexual health, especially with men who have sex with men (MSM).
As they say, money flows where there is blood on the streets. Some pharmaceutical companies are already reaping gains from the outbreak. Investors are now flocking to pharma companies that have manufactured the monkeypox vaccines or are seeking approval for one. We expect this because many investors reaped greatly by investing in pharma companies manufacturing the COVID-19 vaccine in 2020.
I will highlight two companies that have seen their shares rise since the monkeypox outbreak.
1- GeoVax Labs, Inc. (NASDAQ: GOVX)
The share price of Geovax Labs has risen more than 150% over the past month. This clinical-stage biotechnology company produces vaccines against many common human diseases. It is also involved in immunotherapeutic treatments targeted at cancer and infectious diseases. Some of its vaccines treat conditions like malaria, Zika virus, smallpox, Ebola, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In addition, it has several vaccines against cancer and cancerous tumors.
The smallpox vaccine used to treat monkeypox uses the modified vaccinia Ankara-based (MVA) technology produced by the company. It is commendable that the first technology health authorities turned to was MVA. This shows that the technology gives rapid results. In addition, it has proven to be safe, durable, and effective.
Geovax is also in the news for its COVID-19 trials. It is currently in phase 2 clinical trials for its COVID-19 booster and COVID-19 vaccine for immunocompromised people.
The company's share price rose more than 70% this week. Also, last month, its stock jumped when China allowed it to have a cancer vaccine patent.
It is evident that the share price will rise further as the efficacy of MVA becomes popular and widely used.
2- Emergent Biosolutions, Inc. (NYSE: EBS)
Emergent Biosolutions' stock has gained 7% since the monkeypox outbreak. This is an American multinational company with headquarters in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The pharmaceutical company is involved in producing vaccines and antibody therapeutics. It also develops therapeutics for opioid overdoses. Some of its major clients have been biodefense companies.
Emergent has a smallpox vaccine used for treating monkeypox. The vaccine is called ACAM2000, and it has FDA approval. Earlier this month, the company bought Chimerix Inc.’s (NASDAQ: CMRX) antiviral smallpox treatment, Tembexa. It was a deal valued at $337.5 million-plus royalties.
According to released reports among health authorities, Emergent is one of the most potent treatments against smallpox and monkeypox worldwide.
You will recall that in 2020, Emergent had some issues manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines for Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ). This made Johnson & Johnson postpone the rollout of its vaccine shots.
Emergent (NYSE: EBS)is a good stock for value investors. Right now, it is undervalued. However, we expect the stock to rise as the monkeypox outbreak continues. So now is an excellent time to have it in your portfolio.
Although the monkeypox outbreak gathers steam across continents, it does not spread like COVID-19. And that is good news and a critical difference between both diseases. Also, unlike COVID-19, where infected people take days before identification, people infected with monkeypox are very easy to identify. Also, there is a ready stockpile of vaccines against the monkeypox infection. The United States already has vaccines that would go around its population if they had to be released instantly. So, we don't expect this outbreak to be as severe as the COVID-19 pandemic.