Hot Biotech Stocks For 2014
As I mentioned previously in Part 1, it was an incredibly busy week for the biotech sector. A PDUFA decision, as well as three FDA panel reviews/findings provided the impetus for some big moves; however, that was only part of the story.
Four other biotech companies released clinical-stage data that certainly moved the needle for shareholders. Here’s a look at those four key stories.
No company stole the show more than Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: VRTX ) , which skyrocketed 62% on Friday after the combination of VX-661 and Kalydeco, its already FDA-approved cystic fibrosis treatment, delivered results far and above anyone’s expectations in mid-stage trials. Of the four dosing levels being tested, the two highest doses delivered an FEV-1 improvement (a test that measures the amount of air a person can exhale within the first second) of 9% and 7.5%, respectively. By comparison, the placebo delivered just a 3% improvement in FEV-1. Considering that the treatment was well tolerated, Vertex may have found its next area of clinical dominance in cystic fibrosis.
Hot Biotech Stocks For 2014: Merck & Company Inc.(MRK)
Merck & Co., Inc. provides various health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products. The company?s Pharmaceutical segment provides human health pharmaceutical products, such as therapeutic and preventive agents for the treatment of human disorders in the areas of bone, respiratory, immunology, dermatology, cardiovascular, diabetes and obesity, infectious diseases, neurosciences and ophthalmology, oncology, vaccines, and women’s health and endocrine. This segment also offers human health vaccines, such as preventive pediatric, adolescent, and adult vaccines. Its Animal Health segment discovers, develops, manufactures, and markets animal health products. This segment offers antibiotics, anti-inflammatory products, vaccines, products for the treatment of fertility disorders, and parasiticides for cattle, swine, horses, poultry, dogs, cats, salmons, and fish. The Consumer Care segment develops, manufac tures, and markets over-the-counter, foot care, and sun care products. Its over-the-counter product line includes non-drowsy antihistamines; treatment for occasional constipation; decongestant-free cold/flu medicine for people with high blood pressure; nasal decongestant spray; and treatment for frequent heartburn. This segment?s foot care products comprise topical antifungal, and foot and sneaker odor/wetness products; and sun care products include sun care lotions, sprays and dry oils; and sunburn relief products. The company serves drug wholesalers and retailers, hospitals, government agencies, physicians, physician distributors, veterinarians, animal producers, and managed health care providers, as well as food chain and mass merchandiser outlets in the United States and Canada. Merck & Co., Inc. was founded in 1891 and is headquartered in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey.
- [By Smart Money]
Forward P/E: 7.8.
Five-year average forward P/E: 13.7.
Discount to five-year average: 46%.
The market’s shift away from defensive stocks in sectors like pharmaceuticals and the Obama administration’s proposed health care reforms are just a couple of issues weighing on Merck (MRK, news, msgs). Shares in the Whitehouse Station, N.J., company are also being hobbled by company-specific problems, such as disappointing sales of asthma treatment Singulair, its best-selling drug, as well as increased competition, patent expirations and a pipeline of drugs with poor prospects for Food and Drug Administration approval.
Fortunately for Merck investors, the company’s pending acquisition of Schering-Plough (SGP, news, msg s) should go a long way toward easing many of these problems, especially Merck’s poor drug pipeline and its ability to remain competitive, says Morningstar analyst Damien Conover. "Merck greatly improved its long-term outlook by agreeing to acquire Schering-Plough," the analyst says.
- [By McWillams]
Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK : 31.91, 0.05) reported net income of $2.02 billion, or 65 cents per share in its fiscal 2011 second quarter, compared to net income of $752 million or 24 cents a year ago. Analysts had estimated earnings of 95 cents per share for the firm. The company’s revenue rose 7 percent to $12.15 billion, better than analysts’ forecast of $11.82 billion. Shares closed Thursday’s trading at $34.93.
Hot Biotech Stocks For 2014: Gilead Sciences Inc.(GILD)
Gilead Sciences, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, engages in the discovery, development, and commercialization of therapeutics for the treatment of life threatening diseases worldwide. Its products include Atripla, Truvada, Viread, Emtriva for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus infection in adults; Hepsera, an oral formulation for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B; AmBisome, a amphotericin B liposome injection to treat invasive fungal infections; Letairis, an endothelin receptor antagonist for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension; Ranexa for the treatment of chronic angina; Vistide, an antiviral medication for the treatment of cytomegalovirus retinitis in patients with AIDS; and Cayston, an inhaled antibiotic used as a treatment to enhance respiratory systems. The company?s products also comprise Tamiflu, an oral antiviral for the treatment and prevention of influenza A and B; Macugen, an intravitreal injection for the treatment of neovascular a ge-related macular degeneration; and Lexiscan/Rapiscan, an injection used as a pharmacologic stress agent in radionuclide myocardial perfusion imaging. Its products under the Phase III clinical trials consist of Cobicistat, a pharmacoenhancer that is under evaluation as a boosting agent for HIV medicines; Elvitegravir, an oral integrase inhibitor being evaluated as part of combination therapy for HIV; Integrase Single-Tablet, a ?Quad? regimen of elvitegravir, cobicistat, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, and emtricitabine for the treatment of HIV/AIDS in treatment-naive patients; and Aztreonam for inhalation solution for the treatment of cystic fibrosis patients with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The company?s Phase II clinical trials products comprise Cicletanine, Ranolazine, and Aztreonam, as well as GS 9190, GS 9256, and GS 9451. Its Phase I clinical trial products include GS 7340, GS 5885, GS 6620, GS 9620, and GS 6624. The company was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Fos t er City, California.
- [By TheStreet Staff]
Gilead Sciences (GILD) hits a snag that delays the filing, approval or launch of its all-oral Hepatitis C drug regimen. Investors also wake up to the realization that the commercial market for Hep C drugs is far smaller than expected. Gilead shares close in the red for the year. This is my Black Swan prediction for 2013.
- [By Dennis Slothower]
Gilead Sciences is one of the top picks for some investors. While it may not be one of the best green stocks to invest in, the ROE and profit margin make it one to buy.
5 Best Blue Chip Stocks To Invest In 2014: ARIAD Pharmaceuticals Inc.(ARIA)
ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialization of small-molecule drugs for the treatment of cancer. The company?s lead cancer product, ridaforolimus is being studied in multiple clinical trials in patients with various types of cancers, including metastatic sarcomas, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, prostate cancer, and non-small cell lung cancer. Its product pipeline also includes ponatinib, a pan BCR-ABL inhibitor in phase 2 clinical trial for applications in various hematological cancers and solid tumors; and AP26113, an anaplastic lymphoma kinase inhibitor in preclinical studies for the treatment of various cancers, including non-small cell lung cancer, lymphoma, and neuroblastoma. In addition, the company focuses on a drug discovery program centered on small-molecule therapies that are molecularly targeted to cell-signaling pathways implicated in cancer. Further, it licenses its ARGENT cell-sign aling regulation technologies to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to develop and commercialize therapeutic products, and to conduct drug discovery research. The company has collaboration and license agreements with Merck & Co., Inc. for the development, manufacture, and commercialization of ridaforolimus; and license agreements with Medinol Ltd. and ICON Medical Corp. to develop and commercialize stents and other medical devices to deliver ridaforolimus to prevent restenosis of injured vessels. ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was founded in 1991 and is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- [By Peter Leeds]
Based on percentages coming in from 9 battle ground states, and the number of electoral college votes from each, it appears that Obama would win if the election were held today. I expect his lead to increase as the campaign enters full swing.
One company that could benefit from a few more years of a Democratic president would be Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA 0.00%). It is a pharmaceutical company that earned $13.9 million in the third quarter (10 cents per share), and sits on an impressive $86 million in cash. The Bush administration fought against stem cell research, which is a big part of Ariad’s approach, and the company and its shares were hammered. Now, after several years of friendlier policies, and the prospect of another four, Ariad is building momentum and gobbling up market share. I think it could trade up to $16.20.
- [By Hilary Kramer]
Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARIA) is developing novel cancer treatments, and it has three promising drugs in its pipeline: ridaforolimus (which I expect to get FDA approval shortly), ponatinib (recently reported good Stage I/II results), and AP-26113 (a compound with strong potential that just started clinical testing). The stock is up nearly 50% since the early October lows, and while concerns over the possibility that Ariad will raise money could be a short-term overhang on the stock, I look for share prices to continue to climb as the company’s drugs move through the approval process.
Hot Biotech Stocks For 2014: Galena Biopharma Inc (GALE)
Galena Biopharma, Inc. (Galena), formerly RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation, incorporated on April 3, 2006, is a biotechnology company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing therapies addressing unmet medical needs using targeted biotherapeutics. The Company is pursuing the development of cancer therapeutics using peptide-based immunotherapy products, including its main product candidate, NeuVaxTM (E75), for the treatment of breast cancer and other tumors. NeuVax is a peptide-based immunotherapy intended to reduce the recurrence of breast cancer in low-to-intermediate HER2-positive breast cancer patients not eligible for trastuzumab (Herceptin; Genentech/Roche). On January 19, 2012, the Company initiated enrollment in its Phase 3 PRESENT clinical trial for NeuVax (E75 peptide plus GM-CSF) vaccine in low-to-intermediate HER2 1+ and 2+ breast cancer patients in the adjuvant setting to prevent recurrence (Clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT01479244). The Preventio n of Recurrence in Early-Stage, Node-Positive Breast Cancer with Low to Intermediate HER2 Expression with NeuVax Treatment study is a randomized, multicenter, multinational clinical trial that will enroll approximately 700 breast cancer patients. The Company
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