The COVID-19 outbreak has proved to be a catalyst for biotechs.
Some issues that were wallowing in penny stock territory have posted stratospheric gains in the wake of efforts to develop diagnostic tests, treatments and vaccines to combat the new coronavirus.
Here are four stocks that were moving in Friday's session on coronavirus-related news:
Spherix Inc (NASDAQ: SPEX)
Spherix said it has executed an exclusive option agreement with the University of Maryland Baltimore for the technology covered by a patent entitled "Methods of Treating Coronavirus Infection."
The invention was made with aid from the National Institute of Health.
Under the option, Spherix has until the end of May 2020 to complete due diligence and execute a license agreement for commercial development.
Enzo Biochem, Inc. (NYSE: ENZ)
The diagnostic company said its wholly owned subsidiary Enzo Clinical Labs will begin accepting specimens for COVID-19 testing next week.
The company said it is concurrently applying its technical expertise in molecular diagnostics to develop a next-gen COVID-19 testing option.
Opko Health Inc. (NASDAQ: OPK)
Opko shares are on a two-day rally that was set in motion by a Thursday announcement from the company that its subsidiary BioReference Labs will offer a test for COVID-19. Bioreference expects to receive specimens for testing and will begin providing testing next week, Opko said.
NanoViricides Inc (NYSE: NNVC)
NanoViricides said that if it is successful in its drug testing, it can make available kilogram quantities in a few weeks of a drug that would treat several hundred to a few thousands coronavirus patients.
The company said in its earnings report released in late February that it intends to do in vitro tests in its lab to assess the safety and efficacy of drug candidates it has screened for treating COVID-19.
Inovio said earlier this month it will begin human testing of its investigational COVID-19 vaccine as early as April.
Biotech Price Action
At last check:
- Spherix shares were soaring 128.17% to $1.62.
- Enzo Biochem was jumping 48.87% to $3.30.
- Opko was gaining 14.08% to $2.35, adding on to Thursday's 24% advance.
- NanoViricides shares were rallying 39.98% to $11.31.
- Cleveland BioLabs was adding 26.99% to $3.67.
- Inovio was gaining 43.41% to $14.05
Coronavirus image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .