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Coronavirus Drug & Vaccine: 4 Companies Leading From the Front

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With the cases of coronavirus infection rising by the hour across the globe, the investment community and investors expect global businesses to witness longer and steeper downturns.

The only thing that is expected to provide some respite to the beleaguered Wall Street is the development of a coronavirus vaccine or drug. Several companies are in the race to come up with an effective treatment.

Stay-At-Home Directives

In view of the coronavirus outbreak, which has been classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, governments across the world are imposing and extending strict lockdowns.

Per compiled data of Johns Hopkins University, since the virus was first detected in China late last year, the total number of infected people across the world has increased to 1,030,628, as of Apr 3. The virus has already spread across 181 countries, claiming more than 54,000 lives, the compiled data suggests. On the bright side, the data shows recovery of 218,771 people.

Stocks That Are Immune to the Crisis

The present scenario has brightened up prospects for companies working on potential drugs and vaccines (read more: 4 Top Biotech Stocks to Buy in the Time of Coronavirus). In fact, such stocks could provide some hedge against the market downturn and also some profits if there is a bump-up in share price following some success.

Here, we are presenting one stock with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), one with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and two with a Zacks Rank 3 (Hold) that are well positioned to gain. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Headquartered in Tarrytown, NY, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (REGN) along with its partner Sanofi (SNY - Free Report) recently announced expansion of its clinical trial of Kevzara for treating coronavirus. The companies had started the trial of the rheumatoid arthritis drug in the United States earlier. This time, it will reach patients to countries like Italy, Germany, Spain, France, Russia and Canada.

For the mid-to-late stage trial of the drug, the companies are planning to enroll roughly 300 patients. Notably, Regeneron is a Zacks #1 Ranked stock.

Employing its messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, Moderna, Inc. (MRNA - Free Report) , headquartered in Cambridge, MA, is working on a potential vaccine against COVID-19. Notably, the technology utilizes mRNA medicines for instructing the cells of the patients’ bodies to produce proteins.

On the brighter side, the phase 2 clinical trial for the vaccine is likely to commence as early as spring, the #2 Ranked company revealed.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Free Report) , based in New Brunswick, NJ, is also looking to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. The Zacks Rank #3 company recently revealed plans to commence Phase 1 clinical trial of its experimental vaccine by September 2020. By this year-end, the company expects to get safety and efficacy data from the study. This will likely make it possible for the company to make the product ready for emergency use in early 2021.

Novavax, Inc. (NVAX - Free Report) , headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, was awarded funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) for developing a vaccine. The company, with Zacks Rank of 3, expects to initiate Phase1 clinical testing by late-spring 2020.

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