Ocugen (NASDAQ:OCGN) shares sank recently after the company said it wouldn’t pursue Emergency Use Authorization for its coronavirus vaccine candidate in the U.S. Instead, it will take the longer route of a traditional regulatory request. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on June 22, healthcare and cannabis bureau editor and analyst Olivia Zitkus and Fool.com contributor Adria Cimino discuss a piece of brighter news that may help Ocugen in the near term.
Olivia Zitkus: Ocugen recently did expand its agreement with Bharat Biotech to include co-commercialization in Canada. It’s just north of the border. Do you think that will have positive enough impact to make up for the delay in the United States? What do you think about that new expanded agreement?
Adria Cimino: Well, thank goodness — that’s definitely a positive. It came right in time because it gives something positive to focus on. They said that they’re going to continue with their request for emergency authorization there so it could be pretty quick if that happens according to schedule. Now, of course, we have to keep in mind that Canada does have to say “yes” to this, and they do have to make an order, so those are two unknowns. We don’t know right now if they’re going to actually authorize the vaccine candidate and if they’re going to make an order. Now, one thing — Canada has struggled with supply of vaccine. They might be more ready to order vaccines from another player than the U.S. would be because they’ve had some supply issues. They might be ready to say, “Hey, we’re going to try ordering from someone else and see if we can get some more doses.” This could be positive for Ocugen definitely. But again, there are a lot of “ifs” here. The market in and of itself isn’t as big as the U.S. market. If you’re really aiming at the idea of getting the U.S. market — now getting the Canadian market, it’s a smaller market, though it could be a more receptive market. But we’ll see what happens. But right now, I’d say this is a very risky stock, so it’s good to watch from the sidelines.
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