VIR Stock Pops Amid Renewed Omicron Variant Concerns. Here’s Why. thumbnail

VIR Stock Pops Amid Renewed Omicron Variant Concerns. Here’s Why.

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The omicron variant of Covid-19 is spreading across multiple continents, and speculation about it is spreading even faster. As cases rise, investors are waiting anxiously for information from medical researchers. Vaccine manufacturers too are standing by on high alert, as recent reports indicate that current vaccines may struggle to combat the new variant. This has some investors turning toward methods of treating Covid-19 infections. This new trend has sent one stock shooting up. Vir Biotechnology (NASDAQ:VIR) is at work on a potential treatment, and while details are still emerging, VIR stock is reacting well.

A doctor holds a coronavirus 2019-nCoV Blood Sample


What’s Happening With VIR Stock

Since markets opened this week, VIR has been on the rise. In fact, as of this writing, shares are up more than 22% for the day. The stock began gaining momentum early last week and has been on a mostly steady upward trajectory since then, rising by more than 54% for the past five days.

Before news of the omicron variant began to circulate, the biotech company had been working on a new treatment for the virus called sotrovimab in conjunction with GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK). The United Kingdom-based company has also seen its shares rise this week. Its stock is currently up 0.7% for the day.

Why It Matters

It’s clear that no matter what happens in the vaccine race, in the short term, we are going to need Covid-19 treatment methods. This creates a significant opportunity for companies operating in this space.

Vir was already making progress with its Covid-19 antibody treatment before the omicron variant hit the world. In fact, on Nov. 17, CEO George Scangos told CNBC that the company’s treatment was standing up well to all variants. This company was granted emergency-use authorization in May to administer the monoclonal antibody to both adults and children with mild to moderate Covid-19 infections. The company had already announced a $1 billion contract to sell the treatment to the U.S. government.

While this occurred before the advent of the omicron variant, Scangos also noted that he was confident that sotrovimab would do well against other future variants.

What It Means

As is the case with most matters involving the omicron variant, we are still in a place of uncertainty as scientists and researchers scramble to produce necessary data. Just as vaccine producers are waiting to find out what this will mean for their products, treatment makers such as Vir and GlaxoSmithKline are still waiting to find out what their next steps will be.

While it’s unclear if sotrovimab will live up to Scangos’ claims, the world is betting big on Covid-19 treatments right now. VIR stock is absolutely worth watching as more details continue to emerge.

On the date of publication, Samuel O’Brient did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines.