Bio/Pharma companies with COVID-19 drug in pipeline had smaller Q1 market cap decrease, says GlobalData

Having a COVID-19 drug in a bio/pharma company’s pipeline resulted in a smaller decrease in market capitalization (market cap) during the first quarter (Q1) of 2020 compared to companies that did not have a COVID-19 drug in their plan. Bio/pharma companies with a COVID-19 drug in their pipeline declined in aggregate market cap by 5.8%, whereas bio/pharma companies with no COVID-19 drug in their pipeline declined by 12.6%, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Johanna Swanson, Product Manager at GlobalData, comments: “The pharma industry impact illustrates the extent that the global stock market was impacted by the pandemic. However, the industry was not as significantly impacted as other industries such as crude oil benchmarks, which decreased by more than 50% in the same time period, according to GlobalData Oil & Gas.”

The bio/pharma companies with the greatest growth rate had a COVID-19 drug in their pipeline. These include Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, which increased by 33%, and Gilead Sciences, which increased by 14% in Q1.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals has two COVID-19 drugs in the pipeline. It is investigating Kevzara (sarilumab) for the treatment of hospitalized patients with COVID-19, which is in Phase III and had global sales of US$109m for 2018 for treating adult patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The second drug in its pipeline, REGN-COV2, is in pre-clinical and is a multi-antibody cocktail that can be administered as prophylaxis before exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus or as treatment for those already infected.

Gilead Sciences has remdesivir in the pipeline, which has been declared the new standard of care for COVID-19 despite some mixed trial results. It has received both the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients and regulatory approval in Japan. It also has the chance to receive first-to-market status in the EU, and to be combined with other therapies and supportive care.

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