Early in the coronavirus pandemic, Vir Biotechnology's (VIR -1.86%) stock rose -- literally and figuratively -- as it joined the list of biotechs looking for vaccines and therapies for the disease. But even though it found some success, with the pandemic now receding, investors have largely abandoned the stock. Vir's shares are down by 47% this year alone.

This could be a buying opportunity for long-term investors, but only if Vir has enough growth fuel left in the tank. Let's find out if that's the case.

Looking at the financial results

Vir Biotechnology is an immunology company that seeks ways to treat and prevent infectious diseases. The company's antibody platform identifies rare antibodies from patients who have recovered from illnesses or are immune to them. It then uses these antibodies to create novel therapies. The pandemic was an opportunity for Vir to show its talents.

The biotech's collaboration with U.K.-based pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline gave birth to Xevudy, a treatment for early COVID-19 that was granted emergency-use authorization in several dozen countries.

Unfortunately, sales of Xevudy are now dropping, as one would expect, and Vir's overall financial results are not doing great. In the second quarter, it recorded revenue of only $3.8 million, although that was better than the revenue of negative $40.6 million reported in the year-ago period. Last year's negative top line comes from the collaboration agreement Vir has with GSK.

Vir reported negative collaboration revenue in the second quarter of 2022 due to an excess supply of its coronavirus product. Vir's accounting policy dictates that it makes negative adjustments to its collaboration revenue based on potential future events such as product returns. For a better feel of the biotech's top-line decline, notice that its year-to-date revenue (as of June 30) of $66.8 million was substantially lower than the revenue of $1.2 billion reported in the comparable period of the previous fiscal year.

On the bottom line, Vir Biotechnology's net loss for the first six months of the year was $335.7 million, compared to a net income of $442.1 million recorded in the year-ago period. Still, the company had $1.9 billion in cash, equivalents, and investments as of June 30. That's not bad for a biotech with a market capitalization of just $1.8 billion.

What does the future look like? 

Vir's pipeline looks impressive at first glance. The company boasts about a dozen programs; for most of them, it has a partner with deep pockets to help develop these candidates. Vir's collaborators include GSK, Gilead Sciences, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Vir is also going after challenging targets, including HIV.

However, other than Xevudy, the biotech has no products that have cleared the phase 2 clinical trial stage. Further, the company recently received disappointing news on the clinical front. Vir announced that its candidate, VIR-2482, failed to meet its primary or secondary endpoint in a phase 2 clinical trial for the prevention of influenza.

This was one of Vir's most advanced programs, a big blow to its prospects. And even with a pipeline full of other candidates, a solid cash position, and support from other entities, Vir Biotechnology will find it hard to launch another product on the market within the next two years. Meanwhile, Xevudy is unlikely to generate the kinds of sales it did earlier in the pandemic.

That's not just because the outbreak has somewhat receded. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Xevudy is unlikely to be effective against newer variants of the coronavirus, such as Omicron. As a result, it is no longer authorized in the U.S. Vir Biotechnology's financial results will likely continue to be unimpressive, its stock price will remain volatile, and there are very few redeeming qualities about the company that would justify acquiring its shares right now.

Investors would do well to stay away and instead turn to other promising biotech stocks