Investors again got excited about Ocugen (NASDAQ:OCGN) on Thursday, sending the shares 8.1% higher at market close. There was no direct, market-driving news behind this; it’s very possible that investors are loading up in advance of an important milestone for the stock.
Last week, Ocugen excitedly announced that its stock will be a component of the Russell 3000 index, as a result of the index’s once-per-year reconstitution. This is effective before market open on Monday, so both institutional and individual investors might be buying on the hopes of a lift once Ocugen’s membership becomes official.
The clinical-stage biotech rose to fame in the thick of the coronavirus pandemic thanks to Covaxin, the vaccine it’s co-developing to fight the big global health threat. At the moment, it has no other pipeline product that has advanced into meaningful clinical testing.
With Thursday’s stock price pop, the bullishness over Ocugen’s Russell 3000 graduation has worn off.
While the stock will doubtlessly benefit by being on the radar of the big pile of index funds currently popular with investors, it’s still a dicey investment. Ocugen has scotched plans to seek Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA for Covaxin, in favor of filing for a biologics license application — a type of formal approval — from the regulator.
Despite the threat of the delta variation of the coronavirus, the pandemic continues to recede across the U.S. And that lack of depth in the company’s pipeline only adds to doubts about its future potential.
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