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House Okays $8 Billion Funds to Combat COVID-19: 3 Winners

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The House of Representatives passed a bill for allotment of funds in an emergency pool earlier this week, which is to be used to counter the damaging effects of the coronavirus outbreak is expected to have on the domestic economy.

Let us analyze which stocks are expected to benefit from this emergency stash.

House Allocates $8 Billion to Emergency Funds

On Mar 4, the House passed a legislation that allocates more than $8 billion to emergency funds to battle against the spread of coronavirus. The bill won by a voting ratio of 415-2. Republican lawmakers Ken Buck of Colorado and Andy Biggs of Arizona were the only members who voted unfavorably.

The emergency funds aim to provide more than $3 billion for vaccine research and $2.2 billion for efforts in prevention and preparedness. Medical tests and vaccine research to combat the pandemic are urgent tasks right now, which many biotechnology firms in the country are working on actively.

Companies, such as Moderna, Inc. (MRNA - Free Report) , Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. INO and Vir Biotechnology, Inc. (VIR - Free Report) are currently in the process of developing the much-needed vaccines.

The congressional spending proposal is considerably higher than the $2.5 billion that the White House had proposed in late February. The bill also authorizes about $500 million to allow Medicare providers to offer telehealth services, which would benefit elderly patients to receive care in the comforts of their homes.

The bill is now headed to the Senate for approval. Should it be passed effectively, it will then make its way to President Donald Trump’s desk, who is expected to give a green signal. Trump had earlier indicated at a news conference that he would “spend whatever is appropriate” to fight the COVID-19 outbreak.

After all, death toll in the United States climbed to 11 and minimum 138 are infected. Of the 11, 10 deaths were confirmed from Washington while one was registered in California. Globally, the pandemic claimed more than 3,100 lives.

3 Stocks in Focus

We have, therefore, handpicked three vital stocks that are actively developing vaccines to address the novel coronavirus. One may take a closer look at these.

Moderna is a clinical stage biotechnology company. Last week, the company said that its first batch of vaccine against the COVID-19 disease, called mRNA-1273, was ready for the government to test on humans.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Moderna’s current-year earnings has moved 5% north in the past 60 days. Shares of this company, which belongs to the Zacks Medical - Biomedical and Genetics industry, have risen 40.5% against the industry’s decline of 2.6% on a year-to-date basis. (Read more)

Moderna carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals on Mar 4 announced an accelerated timeline to develop its DNA vaccine INO-4800 to battle COVID-19. Inovio's President & CEO Dr. J. Joseph Kim mentioned this accelerated timeline at the U.S. Coronavirus Task Force meeting at the White House on Mar 2.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals carries a Zacks Rank #3. Shares of this company, which belongs to the Zacks Medical - Biomedical and Genetics industry, have risen 143.2% against the industry’s decline of 2.6% on a year-to-date basis.

Vir Biotechnology is a clinical-stage immunology company. The firm, along with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ALNY, announced on Mar 4 that the two companies would expand their continuing collaboration to make an attempt to develop RNA interference treatments for SARS-CoV-2.

Vir Biotechnology carries a Zacks Rank #3. Shares of this company, which belongs to the Zacks Medical - Biomedical and Genetics industry, have risen 257% against the industry’s decline of 2.7% on a year-to-date basis.

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Moderna, Inc. (MRNA) - free report >>

Vir Biotechnology, Inc. (VIR) - free report >>