When I first weighed in on iBio (NYSE:IBIO), I said, “ I believe the stock could triple in value on successful trials, and the potential for FDA approval, in the near term.”
That was back on June 10, as the stock traded around $1.50. It would subsequently surge nearly 400% higher to a high of $7.45, where it then fizzled and died.
On August 10, hoping the pullback was just a short-lived event, I said it was one of the top pandemic opportunities on the market. But it looks like I got ahead of myself in round 2, as the stock fell from $4.54 to $1.67 a share.
As much as I’d like to call the current moment a buying opportunity, I can’t. Near-term, iBio stock could easily pullback to less than $1.43 where it sat in June.
Unfortunately, there’s not much to get excited about here. So, I’d opt to avoid the stock — at least for now.
What Sets IBIO Apart from its Competition
With its FastPharming technology, iBio can potentially take any vaccine and produce enough doses for hundreds of millions of people. In fact, according to iBio co-chairman and CEO Tom Isett, the company could create about 500 million doses of a high-quality Covid-19 vaccine.
“That scalability links directly to the modular technology behind our FastPharming Manufacturing System, which uses a relative of the tobacco plant as the ‘bioreactor’ to produce biopharmaceuticals,” he added.
Unfortunately, that’s just about all there is to get excited about when it comes to IBIO stock.
IBIO is Quickly Falling Behind in the Race for a Vaccine
Competitors including Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX), Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) and AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) are nearing a potential vaccine. In fact, Pfizer may have efficacy results in just a few weeks:
“Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said the company has enrolled about 23,000 people for its phase 3 coronavirus vaccine trial so far. The company expects initial results in late October. If the results are positive, the company would be ready to ask the FDA to authorize vaccinations as soon as possible,” per Fierce Pharma contributor Eric Sagonowsky.
Meanwhile, IBIO-201 and IBIO-200 are still in pre-clinical stages. Granted, positive near-term news on development could force the stock higher. But the momentum won’t last long. IBIO isn’t anywhere near where companies like Pfizer currently are.
Investors are Losing Interest in IBIO Stock
Retail investors have grown tired of waiting on the iBio team to produce. The same can be said for former beneficial stock owners Eastern Capital, which just reduced its holdings. In fact, on August 12, Eastern Capital sold just over 7.6 million shares. They now own just 0.6% of the equity, nearly 90% down from their previous 5% stake.
It’s not as if this is a big surprise. IBIO appears to be headed lower, stuck treading water in pre-clinical studies. Who wants to waste time when there are other opportunities?
In their defense:
“We are encouraged by these pre-clinical data, which demonstrate IBIO-201’s ability to generate an immune response to SARS-CoV-2 sequences and neutralize protein interaction,” said Tom Isett, iBio’s chairman and CEO. “We expect to gain more insight as we complete data analysis of both of our COVID-19 vaccine candidates.”
But at this point, who cares? IBIO is too far behind for their encouragement to matter.
Look, investors did very well when IBIO stock rocketed nearly 400%. In fact, I first noted it was worth buying prior to that run. But now, in my opinion, it’s better to avoid the stock. There are far better opportunities to be found.
Sad to say, but the IBIO downtrend is liable to continue. Avoid it.
On the date of publication, Ian Cooper did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Ian Cooper, an InvestorPlace.com contributor, has been analyzing stocks and options for web-based advisories since 1999. As of this writing, Ian Cooper did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.