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Why Vir Biotechnology Stock Is Soaring Today

By Keith Speights – Nov 30, 2021 at 6:32AM

Key Points

  • Wainwright analyst Patrick Trucchio increased his price target for Vir from $135 to $200.
  • He thinks the omicron variant could fuel higher demand for Vir's COVID-19 antibody therapy.
  • Even if Trucchio is overly optimistic, Vir's shares could still move a lot higher.

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An analyst upped his price target for the biotech stock.

What happened

Shares of Vir Biotechnology (VIR 1.03%) were soaring 18.5% as of 11:08 a.m. ET on Tuesday. The big gain came after H.C. Wainwright analyst Patrick Trucchio boosted his price target on Vir from $135 to $200. He maintained his buy rating on the stock.

So what

Several analysts are bullish about Vir's prospects. But Wainwright's Trucchio is the most optimistic by far about the biotech stock. What's behind his enthusiasm?

Dollar bill folded into an arrow pointing up.

Image source: Getty Images.

Trucchio singled out the emergence of the omicron variant as one top factor. He believes that there's a good chance that the coronavirus could become endemic -- here to stay. If that happens, the demand for antibody therapies would likely increase.

That could be an ideal scenario for Vir. The company and its partner GlaxoSmithKline have won authorizations or approvals for monoclonal antibody therapy sotrovimab in more than a dozen countries so far, including the U.S. 

Could Trucchio be overly exuberant about Vir's prospects? Sure. However, even if he is, the stock could still be a big winner. The consensus Wall Street price target for the stock (not incorporating Trucchio's higher target) reflects an upside potential of more than 40%.

Now what

Investors should especially watch the progress of clinical studies evaluating sotrovimab as a COVID-19 prophylaxis. But the monoclonal antibody therapy isn't the only potential growth driver for Vir. The company expects to report results in the first half of 2022 from a phase 2 study of a combination therapy that could be a functional cure for chronic hepatitis B virus infection. 

Keith Speights has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends GlaxoSmithKline. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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