Shares of vaccine companies COVID-19 Dynavax Technologies (NASDAQ: DVAX), Thermal biology (NASDAQ: HTBX)and Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: INO) all opened Tuesday’s trading session down more than 10%. While company specifics vary, the central theme behind these downward moves appears to be news that Russia has approved the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine, named Sputnik-V, today.
Heat Biologics shares are currently down 11.8%, shares of Dynavax are down 9.7% and shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals sank in the red 21% at 10:13 am EDT Tuesday.
Dynavax, Heat Biologics and Inovio Pharmaceuticals all hope to play an important role in the COVID-19 vaccine landscape. However, investors appear to be interested in the Russian news of the vaccine, perhaps because President Putin announced that one of his daughters has been vaccinated.
Putin’s claim that the vaccine is “quite effective” and that it produces “stable immunity” is most questionable. The fact of the matter is that this vaccine has not undergone the rigorous clinical trial – or regulatory evaluation – needed to support a bold claim about its effectiveness or safety. Emphasizing this view, CNN reports that Russia has not released any actual data backing these claims.
So what now
The big picture is that there is little chance this Russian vaccine candidate will overtake any of the COVID-19 treatments being developed in Western countries, such as the United States or the United Kingdom. . This appears to be a political move to position Russia as a scientific powerhouse. Just barely making it.
As a result, these double-digit moves against shares of Dynavax, Heat Biologics and Inovio Pharmaceuticals, in response to news of this Russian vaccine, are deemed unreasonable. Therefore, bargain hunters may want to take advantage of this weakness in every biotech stock today.