What happened

Shares of VBI Vaccines (NASDAQ:VBIV) were sinking 13.7% lower as of 11:06 a.m. EDT on Tuesday. The company didn't announce any news that would have caused its stock to drop. Instead, the decline appears to simply be a continuation of a sell-off that began last week. Some investors could be taking profits off the table after VBI soared nearly 350% year to date.

So what

High levels of volatility are the norm for small biotech stocks like VBI Vaccines. It's not surprising that shares would fall after the meteoric rise earlier this year, especially when VBI hasn't had any news in recent weeks that would serve as a positive catalyst.

Scientist with syringe and vaccine bottle

Image source: Getty Images.

It's usually best for investors to ignore the volatility and instead focus on the business prospects for any company. In VBI's case, those prospects hinge largely on hepatitis B vaccine Sci-B-Vac. The vaccine is already approved in Israel. VBI hopes to begin filing for regulatory approvals in other countries, including the U.S., later this year.

The biotech also has several pipeline candidates that could be promising. Investors have been especially excited about VBI's pan-coronavirus vaccine candidate VBI-2901 that's in preclinical testing. VBI's most advanced candidates other than Sci-B-Vac, however, are hep-B therapeutic VBI-2601 and immunotherapy VBI-1901, both of which are in phase 1/2 cinical studies.

Now what

Although VBI Vaccines has been relatively quiet in July, the company should have developments on the way. It expects to soon report data from its phase 2a study of VBI-1901, with more data coming in the fourth quarter. VBI anticipates announcing results from its phase 1b/2a study of VBI-2601 later this year. The company thinks that it will have human clinical study material ready in the fourth quarter for its pan-coronavirus vaccine candidate. And VBI, as mentioned earlier, plans to file for approvals for Sci-B-Vac beginning in the fourth quarter.