Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Why Altimmune Stock Popped Today

By Prosper Junior Bakiny - Feb 17, 2021 at 5:35PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The company's COVID-19 program is moving ahead.

What happened?

On Wednesday morning, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Altimmune (ALT 14.19%) announced a regulatory update regarding one of its pipeline candidates. The news prompted bullish commentary from a Wall Street analyst. These developments sent Altimmune's shares higher. As of the close of Wednesday's trading's session, the company's stock was up by 13.9%

So what

Altimmune announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared its Investigational New Drug (IND) Application for a phase 1 clinical trial for AdCOVID. An IND application, once approved, allows a company to start human clinical trials for an experimental drug or vaccine. AdCOVID is a single-dose, intranasal, needle-free COVID-19 vaccine candidate Altimmune is developing.

The company expects to kick off a phase 1 clinical trial for this product in the coming week. This study will evaluate the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity (the ability to trigger an immune response in the body) of AdCOVID in about 180 healthy adult participants.

Doctor holding a glass vial labeled "COVID-19 Vaccine Coronavirus."

Image source: Getty Images.

Following this news, Piper Sandler analyst Yasmeen Rahimi maintained an overweight (buy) rating on Altimmune's stock with a price target of $80. The analyst's price target represents an upside of more than 200% on Altimmune's stock. Rahimi thinks that the company has several upcoming catalysts, including interim data from its phase 1 clinical trial for AdCOVID, full top-line data from this trial, and results from a clinical trial for ALT-801, a potential treatment for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.

Now what

Altimmune could certainly ride the wave of these catalysts, provided the results from its clinical trials are to investors' liking. But for long-term investors, too many risks remain with this company. The competition is fierce within the COVID-19 vaccine market, and none of the company's current candidates are close to being commercialized. It is certainly worth monitoring the progress of Altimmune's coronavirus vaccine program, but for now, I'd advise risk-averse investors to stay a safe distance away from this healthcare stock

This article represents the opinion of the writer(s), who may disagree with the "official" recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We're motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Altimmune, Inc. Stock Quote
Altimmune, Inc.
$11.75 (14.19%) $1.46

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 06/27/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.