Biotech stocks remain on many investors’ radar and for good reasons. Biotech companies are usually more insulated from global events such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and economic uncertainty. Simply put, top biotech stocks have been generally resilient during such uncertain times. That’s because, during good and bad times, pharmaceutical and biotech companies are on a constant hunt for drugs to cure new diseases. Today’s biotech news places the limelight on treatments and vaccine development for the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the industry pushes out new drugs and treatments, investors closely follow their clinical trials, development, and regulatory approval. For every positive development, the best biotech stocks to watch right now see their share prices skyrocketing. Apart from this, acquisitions by larger players in the industry or new stakes from investment firms are also signs that investors keep an eye on. For instance, Benitec Biopharma Inc. (NASDAQ: BNTC) skyrocketed nearly 200% on Tuesday’s trading. This came after Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) took a 5.2% stake in the gene therapy company.
But even if you are not keen on the vaccine stocks, don’t fret. After all, pandemics may come and go, but many other diseases stay around. Given the exciting developments and hot news surrounding the biotech industry, let’s take a good look at some of the top biotech stocks in the stock market today.Biotech Stocks To Buy [Or Sell] Right Now
- Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX)
- Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VRTX)
- Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN)
- Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE)
First up the list is Novavax. The company recently released positive data from its trials in the U.K and South Africa. Following the positive trial data, NVAX stock received another shot in the arm. If you are an early investor and have held on to NVAX stock since the beginning of last year, you have made more than 5000% return, making it the best biotech stock to watch in the stock market. The company’s two-dose vaccine posted 96% efficacy against the novel coronavirus. It also appears to have the ability to handle today’s COVID-19 variants to a certain degree. Furthermore, Novavax reported that the vaccine is 100% effective in preventing severe side effects which may require hospitalization.Source: TD Ameritrade TOS
Another exciting development is that the company is also looking into combining both its COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine into a single shot. This certainly sounds more attractive compared to other COVID-19 vaccines. Clinical trials are expected to be launched in the middle of 2021.
Should the company’s vaccine be approved and distributed to the public, the company should see an estimated revenue of $4.07 billion by the end of the year. Another potential revenue generator is its flu vaccine that is being developed which may be market-ready in a few years. With these developments, will you consider investing in NVAX stock?
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Vertex is a global biotech firm that specializes in medicine development for critical diseases. It has a strong moat in its core market. The company’s game-changing cystic fibrosis (CF) drugs are the only drugs in the market that can treat the underlying cause of the rare disease. This alone could provide a significant stream of revenue to Vertex in the coming years.Source: TD Ameritrade TOS
Vertex is already developing several treatments in its pipeline for several rare diseases. One exciting development is the company’s CTX001 drug. This aims to treat sickle cell disease (SCD) where there are few treatment options available. The recent clinical trial results show that a patient treated with the drug did not exhibit the common side effect of acute pain which comes with SCD. These are encouraging results indeed for Vertex. The company is also expecting results soon from its phase 2 study on treating liver disease alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency with its VX-864 in the coming months.
Vertex has managed to gain a massive cash stockpile of $6.7 billion due to its success. This provides ample resources for Vertex to work on new partnerships and even acquire other companies. Could the recent pull-back in VRTX stock present a nice set-up for investors to buy on dips? I’ll let you make the decision.
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Long-time biotech giant Amgen has not been making headlines like the other biotech stocks on this list. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the attention. In fact, the company had revenue growth of about 9% in 2020. The company’s stock price has been trading sideways over the past year, providing an opportunity for traders to profit from swings.Source: TD Ameritrade TOS
Apart from boasting a line-up of over 30 impressive drugs under its belt, Amgen has been doing its own development with new drugs such as Repatha for high cholesterol and Otezla, a drug acquired in late 2019 from Celgene. Otezla had an impressive increase in sales from $1.6 billion in 2019 to $2.2 billion in 2020. The company expects at least a 10% increment in sales per year for the next few years.
Amgen also announced in early March its acquisition of Five Prime Therapeutics (NASDAQ: FPRX). This is mainly to acquire its potential for stomach cancer treatment, bemarituzumab. Bemarituzumab is a first-in-class, Phase 3 ready anti-FGFR2b antibody with positive data from a randomized, placebo-controlled Phase 2 study. This is timely with its international expansion strategy. It has managed to expand into new markets including China and Japan where gastric cancer is more common. Considering all these, will you be adding AMGN stock to your list?Pfizer Inc.
At this point, Pfizer is becoming a household name. That’s thanks to it being the first COVID-19 vaccine company to gain FDA’s emergency use authorization (EUA). Its success in developing a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine has given the company the confidence to invest in the technology that underpins that vaccine. According to the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, CEO Albert Bourla revealed that Pfizer plans to become a leader in the development of new vaccines that rely on messenger RNA (mRNA).Source: TD Ameritrade TOS
If Pfizer can rapidly develop new mRNA vaccines for other diseases as planned, this would truly be a game-changer on its own. Pfizer and BioNTech are currently splitting their profits on the BNT162b2 vaccine at the moment. 2 weeks ago, Pfizer CFO, Frank D’Amelio said “We believe it’s becoming increasingly likely that an annual revaccination is going to take place”. With different variants around, there is a good chance that more variants are yet to be discovered. There is also a possibility of a price increase for the vaccine in the near future.
Apart from Pfizer’s potential revenue from its future mRNA vaccines, the company also has several growth initiatives to back them up. More importantly, the recent weakness in PFE stock price could provide investors a value deal compared to other richly valued biotech stocks. Therefore, if you are looking for a stable stock with potential upside whilst having a solid dividend yield, would you be eyeing PFE stock?