Markets have been heavily hit by the coronavirus pandemic with equity indices trading like penny stocks and the some of largest companies in the world losing more than 50% of their value.
Integral to the panic gripping stock markets is the lack of any vaccine of approved medicines to treat COVID-19.
When a vaccine or effective coronavirus medicines are found, there will likely be a historic wave of relief through markets and shares in the company, or companies, responsible for the treatments will become much sought after.
There are numerous companies researching and developing coronavirus treatments, both listed and unlisted, however, three are receiving a significant level of investor and press interest.
The first step to tackling COVID-19 is testing individuals and countries around the world were awfully unprepared.
Roche (SWX:RO) began developing coronavirus testing in January inline with the FDA and tests are now available in labs across the US.
Reflecting the urgency of the need for testing and efficiency of Roche, the coronavirus tests were produced and approved in record time.
As COVID-19 spread through China the only option was to trial existing medicines traditionally used for other illnesses.
China tesed a wide range of medicines for infections and diseases such as malaria, SARS, HIV and inflammation.
One of these drugs was Gilead’s (NASDAQ:GILD) antiviral Remdesivir. Remdesivir is emerging as a frontrunner in the treatment of coronavirus having originally been designed to target Ebola.
There have been a number of claims Remdesivir produced positive results in patients in China and there are a number of trials ongoing in China, and recently the US.
Again focusing on the testing of coronavirus as the first step in treating the virus and controlling it’s spread, Novacyt (LON:NCYT) is supplying the UK healthcare system with testing kits.
Initial orders from Public Health England amounted to £1 million to test in eight hospitals across the UK over a four week period. If successful, it is easy to picture Novacyt receive significantly more orders.
The company is listed on London’s AIM with a market cap of just £97 million.