The markets are up this morning driven by a combination of COVID-19 vaccine excitement, and China-related news. On COVID-19 vaccine news, the announcement by AstraZeneca that it was restarting its late-stage COVID-19 vaccine trial is still exciting the market. Given that this is one of the most promising vaccine candidates in the market, investors are taking the latest development as a sign of good things to come. The excitement stems from the fact that a COVID-19 vaccine can lead to a revamp of the economy, due to a resumption of consumer spending.
The U.S economy thrives on consumer spending and a return to pre-COVID-19 levels of spending would see the stock market’s rally again as investors throw money more confidently at the stock markets. On China, the country has reported positive data on industrial production and retail sales. The country has stated that industrial production increased by 5.6%, while retails grew by 0.5%. Given how important China is to the global economy, the growth data points to both economic resilience, and a potential bounce back in the world economy once a vaccine is found.
As optimism rises in the markets, biotech stocks are leading the way in early morning gains. Some of the top stock performers ahead of markets are as below:
Novus Therapeutics Inc [NASDAQ: NVUS]
This stock is gaining quite strongly pre-market and is up by over 150%. This follows the company’s announcement that it was buying privately-held Analixis Therapeutics Inc. Through the acquisition, the company will have access to compound AT-1501, a next-gen anti-CD40L antibody.
Once developed, it will be used for organ and cellular transplants, when treating autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases. The company will also inherit Anelixis senior management that has lots of experience in drug development and commercialization. Commenting on the deal, board chairman Keith A. Katkin stated that the acquisition would deliver value to Novus shareholders.
Marinus Pharmaceuticals Inc [NASDAQ: MRNS]
Marinus Pharmaceuticals Inc is another top performer this morning and is up by over 60%. This follows the company’s announcement that Ganaxolene has met its primary endpoint in the company’s phase 3 trial for CDKL5 deficiency disorder The Company has also announced that the treatment was well-tolerated and that it had a discontinuation rate of under 5%.
ARCA Biopharma Inc [NASDAQ: ABIO]
ARCA Biopharma is another top performer this morning and is up by over 20%. This is largely price action-driven, and comes a month after the company announced that it had completed its FDA pre-IND consultation for its severe COVID-19 treatment. The company expects to submit its IND this month ahead of its phase 2b clinical trials.