COVID 19 – Updated

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The Latest On Coronavirus

The Covid-19 crisis has badly hit the fortunes of thousands of listed companies across the globe. But for firms that hope to play a role in conquering the virus, it has led to sharing price increases that would have been unthinkable at the start of the year.

In recent weeks, as fears over the pandemic have lifted to an extent, these companies’ share prices have fallen back somewhat. But with many experts predicting a second wave, these companies’ shares could quickly come back into fashion. 

Here we take a look at some of Aim’s coronavirus-linked stocks to watch in the coming weeks and months.

Omega Diagnostics Group

Omega’s stock price leaped from below 10p in early April to above 70p at the beginning of this month thanks to its work on developing an antibody test. But in the past couple of weeks, it has fallen back, closing at 55p on Monday this week.

In early April, the Aim-listed company announced it had signed a memorandum of understanding with three other UK firms to develop an antibody test. 

And last week the firm celebrated shipping the first order of its Covid-19 Elisa get to Senegal in a deal worth £100,000. It indicated that more deals could be on the horizon.

Fusion Antibodies

Fusion Antibodies, a contract research company based in Belfast, saw its share price jump from 78p in January to a peak of 155p in mid-April, around the time when fears over coronavirus peaked. But its stock price has since fallen back to 86p.

The firm announced a £3m fundraise in late April to help its work with Queen’s University Belfast to develop new approaches to fight Covid-19. Shareholders gave their backing to this in May. 

Synairgen

UK biotech startup Synairgen is another firm that became a stock market hit in the midst of the crisis. Starting the year at around 6p, its shares rose to above 70p on Aim in April. But like Fusion and Omega, Synairgen has fallen in recent weeks, currently sitting at 36p.

Earlier this week, the company received approval to test its leading candidate, SNG001, for treating patients with coronavirus. 

Novacyt

Anglo-French Novacyt has had a phenomenal year on the stock exchange. Starting the year at 14p, it was one of the early financial beneficiaries of the crisis and rose to a peak of 491p in mid-April. Today, after weeks of decline, it is sitting at 215p – which is still not bad, given where it began in 2020.

The firm, which listed on Aim in 2017, announced in January that it had launched a molecular test to detect Covid-19. 

Early this month, the firm reported promising contract news and sales figures, but its shares were hit by a French regulator’s decision not to approve its test for reimbursement. 

Open Orphan

Open Orphan began 2020 with a share price of around 5p. It rose to 16p in mid-May and has since fallen back to 12p.

The UK and Ireland-listed firm revealed in April that its London subsidiary, hVIVO, had started testing an anti-viral for treating the disease for its client, Nearmedic International.

Early this month, Open Orphan launched its Covid-19 antibody test. FinnCap subsequently restated its 19p price target for the firm.

Avacta Group

Biotherapeutics and reagents developer Avacta has had as dramatic time as any of its peers this year. Starting 2020 with a stock value of 18p, it had risen to 202p by late May – but in the past three weeks, its share price has halved back to 101p.

In early April, it revealed that a new collaboration with Cytiva – which used to be known as GE Healthcare Life Sciences – to make a rapid test for Covid-19. 

Last week, the firm’s diagnostic test – developed alongside Adeptrix – reached the prototype stage. 

Westminster Group

Despite offering fever screening equipment for airports, Westminster Group’s share price has yet to capture the imagination in the same way as others mentioned in this article. Its share price started the year at around 12p, fell to 6p in mid-March, and peaked at 13p in early May. Today it is sitting at 10p – below where it started the year.

Earlier this month, the company announced it had conducted successful trials of its products at Stockholm’s main airport. Its equipment could become more important when international travel picks up again.

Last week the press reported that vaccines are very early stage, and we must learn more…

TMS Events looks forward to seeing you all again very soon…

The author was remunerated but holds no shares in the companies

 



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