- Wall Street is scrambling to have a stake in the company that cures coronavirus – and it has drug makers surging.
- That’s as the wider market marches towards its worst weekly performance since the financial crisis.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
As equity indices head toward their worst week of losses since the financial crisis, investors have predictably begun placing bets on which company can produce a cure for the COVID-19 coronavirus at the root of the sell-off.
It’s becoming a crowded field.
In private markets, billionaire Jim Simons is betting millions on Codagenix, a small biotechnology company working on a coronavirus vaccine.
Meanwhile, publicly listed company Novavax surged as much as 27.9% Thursday as the company began animal testing for a potential coronavirus vaccine. Inovio, a biotech firm that says it will begin a clinical trial for its vaccine this summer, jumped as much as 25.3%. Moderna climbed 23.5%, on similar promises, before reversing those gains by afternoon trading.
Vaxart, a little-known pharmaceutical company that also says it’s searching for a possible vaccine, jumped as much as 106.1% Thursday.
Gilead Pharmaceuticals already sells a drug, remdesivir, that a World Health Organization official said Monday may be able to treat some symptoms of coronavirus, though the drug was not originally made for that purpose. Investors bid that stock up as high as 5.6% Thursday. That’s after it closed Wednesday up 7% against end of trading Friday, the last day of trading before the WHO comments.
Here are five public companies that Wall Street has bid up after they said they would pursue a vaccine, and how the shares performed Thursday.