How Top Pharmaceutical Stocks Are Holding Up Through Covid-19

Updated on May 31, 2020

The opening days of the COVID crisis were rough on traders. As the scale of the pandemic became known, many retail investors panicked and sold everything.

From March 4th to March 23rd, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 31% to 18,591. However, soon after the Fed stabilized the market, a new investing focus emerged – find a cure for Coronavirus. As of this writing, the Dow has recovered to 24,465.

This turn of events demonstrates there are moneymaking opportunities in any economy. Before we can return to “normal,” though, we need a vaccine/effective treatment for COVID-19. As we speak, scores of pharma companies are racing to develop solutions.

Which of these approaches hold the most promise? In this article, we’ll talk about some publicly-traded pharma companies that could soar if they develop an effective COVID treatment/vaccine.   


COVID-19 is an RNA virus. So, it’s fitting that Moderna, a biotech company that uses mRNA to create vaccines, is a leading candidate in the Coronavirus race. They initially focused on stem cell treatments, but switched to developing mRNA vaccines in 2014.

In 2018, Moderna went public. They raised 600 million USD from their IPO – the biggest biotech initial public offering in history. Fast forward to today – after meeting with the President, Modern secured 483 million USD from the US government.

This capital has helped to fund preliminary trials, which have shown promise. By mid-May, Phase 1 clinical trials showed that out of dozens of participants, eight developed antibodies without adverse effects.

Phase 2 trials are underway – if everything goes well, Phase 3 will start in July. On this news, Moderna shares shot up to $87 on May 18th. Shortly after, though, Moderna executives introduced doubt into the process.

That day, their chief medical officer and CFO sold 30 million USD worth of shares. These execs made their sales through legal channels, but they’ve raised serious questions. Were they engaging in profit-taking, or do they know something we don’t?

This revelation has driven Moderna stock back below $70. While it may seem like a great time to get in cheap, Moderna has been no stranger to controversy. Over the years, critics have panned them for not publishing much in the way of peer-reviewed research. While Moderna might have a working vaccine, keep their history in mind before buying.


Moderna isn’t the only publicly-traded pharma firm developing a Coronavirus cure. Novavax, a Maryland-based vaccine development company, is also crafting a fix for COVID-19.

In 2015, they received a grant from the Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus. Before COVID struck, they were also developing NanoFlu, a seasonal flu vaccine targeted at elderly populations. And, most recently, its work on a COVID-19 vaccine attracted a 388 million USD grant from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

We won’t lie, though – this firm has had an embattled history. Despite being a vaccine development company, they have yet to bring one to market successfully. To be fair, biotech is a high-risk industry, where one high-profile failure can sink a company.

But if more than 30 years of “swings-and-misses” doesn’t give you pause, nothing will. Buy if you feel like gambling, but avoid this stock if you can’t afford to lose. In either case, do your research into Novavax stock news before making a decision.     


Antibiotics are effective against bacterial infections, but when it comes to viruses, they are mostly useless. So, as COVID-19 has become one of the deadliest global outbreaks in a century, researchers have looked to antiviral drugs for answers.

Gilead has led this effort, as they are the makers of Remdesivir, a high-profile antiviral. Over the years, this drug has been effective against viruses like HIV and Ebola. Could it treat COVID-19 as well?

So far, studies have turned up mixed evidence. In-house research at Gilead appeared to show faster recovery times among those receiving Remdesivir. However, a similar study carried out by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease has shown inconclusive results.

Even so, governments around the globe are ordering production runs of this drug. Recent reports state that Gilead has signed licensing agreements to produce Remdesivir in Pakistan and India.

For this reason, this stock may be worth buying in the short-term. Read more about Gilead stock performance before investing.

OWC Pharmaceutical Research Corp

For years, enthusiasts have touted cannabis as a treatment for many conditions. Anecdotal “evidence” is everywhere on the web, but thanks to legal hurdles, peer-reviewed research can be hard to find.

In recent times, however, numerous governments have either legalized or decriminalized cannabis. As a result, research on marijuana’s medicinal benefits has taken off. With COVID-19 turning the world upside down, it was inevitable someone would investigate cannabis as a treatment.

Now, it seems that certain cannabis strains may inhibit COVID-19 from getting a foothold. Initial research in Alberta, Canada has shown a dozen cannabis strains showing an inhibitory effect. However, even if this finding proves correct, they’ll still need to link up with a private biotech company.

OWC Pharmaceutical Research Corp, an Israeli-based firm, may prove to be the right partner. Around since 2008, they specialize in developing pharmaceutical drugs from cannabis. Over the years, they’ve filed for 31 patents, and have received two – one each in the Czech Republic and Australia.

Lately, the lack of news on this company has stood in the way of stock price gains. However, given the recent media frenzy over a possibility of a cannabis treatment for COVID-19, it’s likely OWC will attempt to develop their own drug.

At present, shares of OWC Pharmaceutical Research Corp (OWCP) are sitting at $0.011 per unit. If you have some cash to spare, OWCP may be an intriguing bet to make. Need more info before investing? Check out these OWCP stock details before buying. 

Even In A Crisis, There Are Winners

To some, the idea of putting money in the market right now seems like a bad idea. However, seasoned investors know there is money to be made, even in volatile markets.

COVID investments, like all biotech bets, are risky by definition. If one of them pay off, though, they can pay for your losses, and then some.

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.