I believe this coronavirus stock could be a great growth opportunity

This Fool is interested in a coronavirus stock that could be a great opportunity for your portfolio on the back of a scientific breakthrough.

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There are stocks out there that I class as ‘coronavirus stocks’. Oxford Biomedica (LSE:OXB) is one such stock and I believe it could be a good growth share over time.

Oxford Biomedica is a gene and cell therapy company and is an offshoot from Oxford University. It specialises in gene-based medicine and is currently listed on the FTSE 250.

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Projects, partnerships & performance

OXB owns many of its own platforms related to gene-based therapies. One of its platforms, LentiVector, is the first of its kind and recognised worldwide as a leading platform.

It usually partners with larger pharmaceutical companies and currently has partnerships with recognised pharma giants such as Novartis and AstraZeneca. The partnership with AstraZeneca is what makes me class OXB as a coronavirus stock and an attractive proposition.

OXB’s share price has increased over 80% in the last five years, which is impressive in my opinion. When the market crashed, its share price dropped from nearly 700p per share, down to 400p. But it has recovered nicely to over 800p per share as I write this.

Just last week, AstraZeneca released its interim results in which it highlighted its work around coronavirus with OXB. Recent trials have shown that the drug being tested increased antibodies four-fold. These results were maintained after two months+ had passed. Additionally, neutralising activity was seen in 91% of patients tested and 100% of those who had a second dose. I consider such results a step forward in the fight against coronavirus and a positive achievement for OXB.

Last year, Denmark’s Novo Holdings, acquired just over 10% of the firm to support its gene therapy products and this allowed Oxford Biomedica to clear its debts in full.

In full-year results to December 31 2019, OXB incurred an operating EBITDA loss of £5.2m compared to a £13.4m profit the year before. Revenue decreased by 4% to £64.1 million over that period. But the loss does not concern me. OXB has invested millions into better facilities and infrastructure to enhance its operations, which includes the coronavirus-focused work.

Coronavirus stock opportunity

What I really like about OXB as a coronavirus stock is its record to date and strategic partnerships. The fact that a pharmaceutical giant such as AstraZeneca has partnered with it around the coronavirus gives me confidence.

And the company seems confident too. Last year it built a new $50m facility for which it borrowed the money and repaid promptly. Just last month it raised £40m in funds to continue its work. Yes, it is loss-making. But it is also debt-free, raising funds and partnering with some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies out there. Hence I feel there is less risk involved when it comes to OXB than some others among its peers.

As coronavirus stocks go, this is one I would seriously consider. It has shown that it can deliver results scientifically, and has turned a profit too before its most recent loss. Of course there are plenty of coronavirus stocks out there. But I feel at such an attractive price, OXB could be a great growth opportunity.

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