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Ocugen Soars as Vaccine Shows Potential With COVID-19 Variants

Ocugen's shares rose after it said a study found its coronavirus-vaccine candidate was potentially effective against the Brazil variant of COVID-19.
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Ocugen  (OCGN) - Get Ocugen, Inc. Report was climbing on Monday after the biopharma said that a new study found its coronavirus-vaccine candidate was potentially effective against the Brazil variant of COVID-19.

Shares of the Malvern, Pa., company at last check were up 17% at $14.85.

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The company said that scientists at the Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Virology found that the treatment, Covaxin, "demonstrated potential effectiveness against the Brazil variant" of the potentially fatal disease. 

Ocugen said it was notable that the Brazilian variant contains the E484K mutation that was found in New York.

An earlier ICMR study suggested that Covaxin was also effective against the the U.K. variant and the Indian double mutant variant of COVID-19, the company said

The double mutant variant has spread to at least 17 countries. Ocugen said, citing the World Health Organization.

This study "demonstrates the potential effectiveness of Covaxin against multiple variants,” Satish Chandran, chairman of the vaccine scientific advisory board of Ocugen, said in a statement.

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The company said second interim results of a Phase 3 clinical trial found Covaxin demonstrated 78% overall efficacy and 100% in severe COVID-19 disease, including hospitalization.

In March, Ocugen said its partner from India, Bharat Biotech, reported that in an interim analysis of a clinical trial, Covaxin provided strong protection against COVID-19.

Shankar Musunuri, Ocugen's co-founder, chairman and chief executive, said the company submitted a comprehensive drug master file to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is preparing an emergency-use application.

Meanwhile on Monday, Vaxart  (VXRT) - Get Vaxart Inc. Report fell ahead of a presentation from the company’s founder and chief scientific officer. The presentation is expected to display its Phase 1 clinical trials of an oral vaccine that shows promise in protecting against COVID variants.

The stock at last check was off 17% at $8.93.

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Brazil variant of COVID-19 had been detected in more than 30 nations and is raging across South America.

Uruguay in the past two weeks has had the highest number of Covid-19 deaths per capita anywhere outside Europe, the Journal said.

On Wednesday, Founder Jim Cramer said during the "Mad Money Lightning Round" said that Ocugen "is a heavily shorted meme stock."