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Thursday, January 06, 2022 3:42:47 PM

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Why 2022 Could Open Gangbusters for Covid Stocks (AZN, OTLC, NVAX, PFE, MRNA, MRK, JNJ, BNTX)

Oncotelic Therapeutics Inc (OTC:OTLC) bills itself as an artificial intelligence driven immuno-oncology company with a robust pipeline of first in class TGF-ß immunotherapies for late stage cancers such as gliomas, pancreatic cancer and melanoma. The Covid-19 story here is also compelling.

OT-101, the lead immuno-oncology drug candidate of Oncotelic, is a first-in-class anti-TGF-ß RNA therapeutic that exhibited single agent activity in relapsed/refractory cancer patients. OT-101 also has shown activity against SARS-CoV-2 and has completed a phase 2 trial against COVID-19, with data cleaning and evaluation and datalock ongoing.

Oncotelic Therapeutics Inc (OTC:OTLC) most recently announced that it has performed mutational analysis of SARS-CoV-2 and demonstrated that the open reading frames 8 (ORF8) is potentially driving the evolution of the Delta and the Omicron variants. ORF8 protein is abundantly secreted in COVID patients.

Fatality in hospital patients is associated with higher serum levels of ORF8. ORF8 is one of the least well conserved and most variable parts of the SARS-CoV-2 genome.

“It is gratifying to identify what we think is the fundamental evolutionary pathway for SARS-CoV-2,” said Dr. Vuong Trieu, CEO and Chairman of Oncotelic. “The analysis allows us to position our therapeutic and vaccine platform against ORF8 to address this pandemic as it further mutates.”

OTLC shares are up over 60% in the past six weeks, leading the Covid stock space. The stock is also cheap, trading at just $0.16/share, but with upward trending technical dynamics, including its recent breakout above its 50-day moving average.

Oncotelic Therapeutics Inc (OTC:OTLC) noted in its release that it has identified 30 high entropy amino acid residues which underwent a progressive evolution to arrive at the current dominant variant – Delta variant. The virus underwent mutational waves, with the first wave made up of structural proteins important in its infectivity, and the second wave made up of the ORFs important for its contagion. The most important driver of the second wave is ORF8 mutations at residue 119 and 120. Further mutations of these two residues are creating new lineage trees that are offshoots from the Delta backbone. More importantly the further mutational expansion of the S-protein in the emerging Omicron variant is now followed with the acquisition of ORF8 mutations 119 and 120.

Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ:NVAX) focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of vaccines to prevent infectious diseases. It provides vaccines for COVID-19, seasonal flu, respiratory syncytial virus, Ebola, and Middle East respiratory syndrome.

The stock has become a johnny-come-lately potential star for speculators in principle if not in fact as the allure of its more simple, easier to store, easier to manufacture, easier to transport, more traditional yet still effective vaccine solution has been widely touted as a potential long-term winner because it translates better to emerging markets around the world, where new variants are thought to be incubating.

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