What happened

The stock of Veru (VERU -7.75%) did not have a good week. As of midafternoon Friday, the share price was down by more than 35% week to date, according to data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence. It seems the company's experimental COVID-19 drug has a dim future at best, and that's driving investors away.

So what

Veru and its shareholders had high hopes for sabizabulin, an orally administered COVID treatment. These hopes were diminished greatly on Wednesday, when a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee essentially voted against recommending that the regulator approve the drug. It wasn't a tight vote, either, with eight against and five in favor.

Sabizabulin was submitted by the biotech in June for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), a fast-track process used to meet clinical needs for pressing health issues.

Veru is not giving up; in its press release on the committee's vote, the company quoted its CEO Mitchell Steiner as saying, "We look forward to continuing to work with the FDA as we continue our efforts to ensure that this product is available to patients in a timely manner."

Now what

Following this news, two analysts tracking Veru lowered their price targets on the stock, with one downgrading his recommendation. The downgrader is Jefferies' (JEF 1.57%) Chris Howerton, who now pegs it as an underperform (sell), a dramatic change from his previous buy estimation. His price target is currently $10 per share.

Meanwhile, H.C. Wainwright prognosticator Yi Chen now believes the stock is worth $21 per share, down from the previous level of $24, although he's maintaining his buy recommendation.