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Eye-Drug Firm Ocugen Triples After Direct Offering

In a direct offering, eye-drug developer Ocugen sold 3 million shares at $7.65, 46% above Friday’s close. The stock leaped on Monday.
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Ocugen  (OCGN) - Get Ocugen Inc Report, an eye-drug developer that has no revenue yet, saw its shares skyrocket Monday after a $23 million share offering.

In a registered direct offering, the Malvern, Pa., company sold 3 million shares at $7.65, or 46% above Friday’s close. 

That premium is the highest for a secondary equity offering in the U.S. over the past 12 months, according to Bloomberg.

The stock recently traded at $14.61, more than double Friday's close at $5.25. It has traded on Monday as high as $18.77, a more than tripling. The shares were trading at 17 cents last June.

Ocugen benefited from a covid vaccine deal it garnered earlier in the month and from manic buying by Reddit followers.

In light of those numbers, many investors probably aren't surprised by Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Kristen Kluska’s assessment, as reported by Bloomberg. She says the surge owes nothing to fundamental news. 

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On the other hand, she has an overweight rating on the stock.

“While we recognize that institutional investors are paying close attention to covid-19 vaccines in development, we believe Ocugen is also receiving a significant amount of social-media attention, which may also be driving this volatility,” she said.

Ocugen on Feb. 2 said it reached an accord with Bharat Biotech of India to share commercialization of its advanced-stage covid-19 vaccine candidate, Covaxin, in the U.S., Bloomberg reports.

In a direct offering, a company's holders sell shares directly to the public, avoiding the need for an underwriter. Ocugen said that it reached the share-sale agreement with health-care-focused institutions. It expects to close the sale around Feb. 10.

In other vaccine news, Johnson & Johnson  (JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Report last week asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize its single-shot vaccine for emergency use in the U.S. 

The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee on Feb. 26 is slated to meet regarding the vaccine, and it could begin distribution later this month, CNBC reports.