A $1.1 trillion congressional spending bill was unveiled late Tuesday night that includes $5.4B in funds to fight the Ebola virus worldwide. This is potentially bullish for Ebola stock investors but caution should be exercised since the bill has yet to pass.
In particular, the bill earmarks:
- $25M for salaries and expenses (104)
- $17m to be made available through 2017 for procurement and defense-wide (429)
- $95M to be made available till 2016 for expenses related to the development of technologies (429)
- $1.77B to be made available till 2019 for CDC-wide activities and program support, in particular for treatment and care of patients infected with the virus (965)
- $733M to be made available till 2019 for emergency response and to develop 'necessary medical countermeasures and vaccines including the development and purchase of vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, necessary medical supplies' (966)
- $19M for additional operating expenses (1396)
- $312M for a "Global Health Program" (1397)
- $1.43B for international disaster assistance for countries affected by the Ebola virus (1397-1398).
- $711M as an economic support fund (1398)
- $36.4M to be made available until 2016 for diplomatic consular programs.
In other words, investors who have been bullish on Ebola stocks may have reason to feel a bit more hopeful. There is reason to believe that both companies developing vaccines for the virus and companies that are creating medical devices have a good shot at winning some government contracts.
Investors however should take caution and not overestimate the news as a guarantee that every company will be able to benefit from the spending bill, for the sole fact that the bill has not passed yet. But for those investors who enjoy trading and investing in high-risk, speculative securities, this news seems ultimately positive.
- Orasure Technologies (NASDAQ:OSUR). The company manufactures, markets, and sells oral fluid diagnostic products. OSUR's products are the first and only over-the-counter product for HIV diagnostic test. The company is developing a similar test for the Ebola virus.
- NewLink Genetics Corporation (NASDAQ:NLNK). NLNK focuses on "immuno-oncology" treatment, aka drug therapies, to bolster immunity for patients with cancer. The company has been contracted to manufacture rVSV-ZEBOV-GP, a treatment against Ebola.
- Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX). NVAX announced that the company was developing recombinant Ebola GP vaccine using the same platform used to develop vaccine candidates against several pathogens including respiratory syntactical virus (RSV), seasonal and pandemic influenza, and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
- Aethlon Medical (NASDAQ:AEMD). The company's excessive dilution of company stock and hyped press releases are two unavoidable red flags.
- Sanomedics International Holdings (OTCPK:SIMH). The company recently reported over $7M in liabilities and declining revenues. However, as the stock prices trades for under .02 a share it might be worth a trade. Just be prepared to lose 100% of your investment.
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