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5 COVID Vaccine Stocks With Late-Stage Candidates You'll Want to Watch

By Keith Speights and Brian Orelli, PhD – Sep 18, 2021 at 7:03AM

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Their vaccines could be late to the party. But the stocks might still be big winners.

More COVID-19 vaccines could be on the way. While hundreds of millions of people around the world have received shots from the vaccines that are already approved or authorized, several other vaccine candidates are currently in late-stage testing. In this Motley Fool Live video, recorded on Sept. 8, Fool contributors Keith Speights and Brian Orelli discuss five stocks to watch that could be winners if those late-stage clinical trials are successful.

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Keith Speights: Well, most of the attention right now is on the COVID-19 vaccines, particularly those that are authorized or approved. We're talking of course about the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Moderna's vaccine, and Johnson & Johnson's vaccine. But there are several vaccine candidates that are in late-stage testing as we speak.

Brian, are there any stocks of companies with some of those vaccines in phase 3 testing that you think investors might especially want to watch?

Brian Orelli: Well, obviously Novavax (NVAX 4.86%), I'm a shareholder there. We've seen the phase 3 data already, so we know that the vaccine works quite well. The issue isn't with efficacy or safety, but with manufacturing. They need to get that resolved so they can gain authorizations and approvals globally, and so that's what investors and me specifically are looking for from Novavax vaccine. The sooner the better, as far as I'm concerned.

Sanofi (SNY 1.70%) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK -2.38%). Sanofi's ticker is SNY and GlaxoSmithKline is GSK. They've really struggled, but they appear to now have a working vaccine. Sanofi has the protein-based vaccine part of it, and then Glaxo is adding the adjuvant, which stimulates the immune system to react to the protein, it's a viral protein, not the whole virus, just part of the protein, but it appears to be working at least in phase 2, so that's something to look out for. It's more of a traditional vaccine versus the mRNA and the adenovirus vaccines, which are novel to this pandemic.

And then I'm still rooting for Inovio (INO 1.73%). The ticker there's INO, and then the drug name is INO-4800. It's a DNA-based vaccine, and they use a device to get the DNA into your cells. It's working with another company called Advaccine, I guess, A-D-V-A-C-C-I-N-E, and they're running a phase 3 clinical trial in Brazil, so I'm looking forward to seeing that data for Inovio.

Speights: Those were some good ones, too, for investors to watch.

I'll throw one additional one out, Brian, and it's not a COVID-19 vaccine stock per se, but Dynavax Technologies (DVAX 0.82%), the ticker there is DVAX. Dynavax has an adjuvant called CpG 1018, I believe is the name, and this adjuvant is used in Dynavax's own hepatitis B vaccine, HEPLISAV-B, but the company has several partners that are using this adjuvant in their COVID-19 vaccines.

I think Dynavax could be a stock to watch because it has multiple potential paths to success with those partners as well as it has its own hep B vaccine that's on the market already. It's a small biotech that you might want to keep your eyes on as well.

Brian Orelli, PhD owns shares of Novavax. Keith Speights owns shares of Pfizer. The Motley Fool recommends GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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