Since the outbreak of coronavirus has spread globally, speculators have been quick to invest in biopharmaceutical company – Biotron (ASX: BIT), which has seen a major spike in trading volume, increasing its share price 75% in the space of two weeks.
Despite receiving a price query from the ASX on 23 January 2020 when the company made no reference to the coronavirus, Biotron has today confirmed to the market that they are in the process of testing their range of compounds for activity against coronavirus, including the strain currently halting travel from China to Australia – 2019-nCoV.
Within its suite of biological compounds, Biotron has achieved success in reducing the levels of other coronavirus by 90 – 100%, including the SARS coronavirus that was responsible for the global outbreak in 2003.
Compounds which have proven to have broad-spectrum activity against coronavirus will now be tested against the new 2019-nCoV in specialist labs that have access to the new virus, under strict bio-safety isolation.
Biotron’s core business centres around research and development of drugs targeting specific viral diseases with their most notable work being antiviral drugs in fighting HIV and Hepatitis B.
Prior to news of the coronavirus spreading in January 2020, shares in BIT saw minimal trading activity, averaging 1,061,798 shares traded daily between 1 January and 21 January.
With speculator activity coming into the market prior to today’s confirmation that Biotron was testing their compounds against the coronavirus, there was an average daily volume of 42,157,110 trade between 22 January and 5 February.
Through that period, shares in Biotron rose 75% from $0.06 per share to a high of $0.105.