GreenLight Biosciences Holdings (GRNA) is absolutely crushing it today, with the stock skyrocketing 42% as of 11:37 a.m. ET on Thursday. The company didn't announce any new developments. Instead, today's huge gain reflects continued strong momentum from a big announcement earlier this week.
On Aug. 1, GreenLight announced that it and Samsung Biologics had successfully completed the first commercial-scale engineering run for their messenger RNA (mRNA) partnership. This run paves the way for the two companies to crank up their production of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.
GreenLight's recent surge was badly needed. But it doesn't erase the previous steep decline for the biotech stock. Even after this week's huge jump, GreenLight's shares remain down more than 50% year to date.
Investors are understandably excited about the latest development though. GreenLight and Samsung went from the conceptualization stage to a commercial-scale production run in less than two years. Importantly, the companies will also be able to produce all components of GreenLight's mRNA vaccines at one facility.
But GreenLight still has a long way to go. Its mRNA products targeting human health remain in pre-clinical testing. The company's agricultural product candidates are also only in early development.
GreenLight hopes to advance its mRNA booster vaccine into clinical testing later this year. However, it will still lag far behind rivals such as Pfizer and Moderna. Even if GreenLight's clinical testing of its COVID-19 vaccine is successful, there's no guarantee that the company will be able to carve out significant market share.