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Gland Pharma, Laurus Labs, other pharma, healthcare stocks rally; here’s why


Pharma stocks gain: The BSE Healthcare index rose 0.77 percent intraday to catch up with the New Year rally. The shares of pharmaceutical and healthcare companies like Neuland Laboratories, Aster DM Healthcare, and Laurus Labs rallied up to 7 percent on Wednesday.

Gland Pharma, Laurus Labs, other pharma, healthcare stocks rally; here’s why
Shares of pharmaceutical and healthcare companies rallied on Wednesday amid a spike in cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in India and the emergence of a new strain ‘IHU variant' in France.
Both Neuland Laboratories and Aster DM Healthcare were the top gainers in the BSE Healthcare pack rising more than 6 percent to an intraday high of Rs 1,664.80 and Rs 191.45, respectively. Sastasundar Ventures shares were up 4.99 percent at Rs 508.10 and Hikal Ltd stock rose 6.6 percent intraday.
The Healthcare index rose 0.77 percent intraday to catch up with the New Year rally after failing to make a mark in the first two trading sessions of 2022.
Global brokerage Jefferies initiated coverage with a 'buy' call on two pharma stocks — Laurus Labs and Gland Pharma with a target price of Rs 628 for Laurus and Rs 4,566 for Gland Pharma. According to Jefferies, Gland Pharma is a dominant player in generic injectables manufacturing, whereas Laurus Labs is a proven API-capability company.
Following the brokerage call, Laurus Labs stock jumped 5 percent to an intraday high of Rs 544.95. At 12:45, the shares were trading almost 4 percent higher at Rs 539.50 on the BSE.
Gland Pharma shares rose 2.7 percent intraday and were trading 2.6 percent higher at Rs 3,984.80 at the time of writing.
Sushant Kinra, COO, Suburban Diagnostics told CNBC-TV18 about the current business scenario for healthcare firms. There has been a huge spike in testing the past 4-5 days, and the positivity rate has also risen. “The volumes, we can definitely see a surge…within this same period, we have three times the volume,” he said.
However, Kinra is of the view that no company in the world will be able to manage such a steep rise in volume. “So obviously, it will put pressure,” he said, adding that this wave is also likely to see a steep decline, similar to what was seen in South Africa.
Ameera Shah, Promoter and MD, Metropolis Healthcare pointed to a 20-30 percent increase in volumes than what it was a month ago. “A month ago, we mostly saw it happening because of travel. Now, I think a lot of it is linked to infection,” she added.
Commenting on gene sequencing, she said, private labs are not approved to do it. However, many have applied so as to assist in doing large screen genomic testing. According to her, the turnaround time at this point is two weeks and it is done mostly as surveillance and not for individuals to know whether it is omicron or delta.”
On Tuesday, the Drugs Controller General of India’s (DCGI) Subject Expert Committee (SEC) granted in-principle approval to Bharat Biotech to conduct of Phase III superiority study and Phase III booster dose study for its intranasal COVID-19 vaccine.
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