Hot Biotech Stocks To Watch For 2018


In just 12 months, shares of GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GWPH) have shot up 125%. Over the past five years, the market cap of the cannabinoid-focused biotech has increased by well over 1,100%. Is GW Pharmaceuticals still a good pick for investors — or is this hot marijuana stock just too expensive to buy right now?

Image source: Getty Images.

Over-hyped?

Some would argue that the prospects for GW Pharmaceuticals are over-hyped. What they really mean is that the prospects for the company’slead cannabinoidcandidate Epidiolex are over-hyped. GW’s fortunes depend on theexperimental drug.

It’s not that many doubt that Epidiolex will win regulatory approval. GW Pharmaceuticals announced results from three different late-stage clinical studies that found Epidiolex helped reduce seizure frequency in patients with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), both of which are rare forms of epilepsy.While there’s always a possibility that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could turn down approval of the drug, Epidiolex’s chances appear to be pretty good.

Hot Biotech Stocks To Watch For 2018: Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc.(ALNY)


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALNY) shares shot up 53 percent to $114.87 after the company impressed investors with encouraging data from a phase 3 clinical trial. Alnylam, a company dedicated towards treating a wide range of debilitating diseases through ribonucleic acid (RNA) interference (RNAi) therapeutics, said after Tuesday's market close that a phase 3 study called APOLLO met its primary efficacy endpoint and all secondary endpoints.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Yesterday, after markets closed, it was announced that US Federal District Court Judge Sue Robinson ruled to issue a permanent injunction against Praluent, the PCSK9 mAb for hypercholesterolemia from partners Regeneron and Sanofi, due to infringement of patents from Amgen. The court has imposed a 30-day suspension (stay) on the injunction to allow for settlement or appeal of the District Court decision. Sanofi and Regeneron have announced their intent to appeal the ruling to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC). The injunction decision is consistent with our counter-consensus published views communicated on 25 January 2016 (“Downgrade to Sell on evidence of likely infringement of Amgen’s PCSK9 patents”) and subsequently. Based on consultation with expert legal counsel, we now put >75% probability Amgen will prevail on appeal and/or Praluent is ultimately removed from the US market, and/or Amgen achieves a settlement substantially in its favor. We currently model $3.3 bn in non-risk-adjusted 2022E US revenues for Praluent, while consensus models $1.2 bn in 2022E US revenues. We reiterate our view from 25 January 2016 to preferentially own Amgen, The Medicines Company (MDCO) (Buy), and Alnylam (ALNY) (Buy) over Regeneron for exposure to PCSK9 inhibitor market dynamics as outcomes trials approach.

  • [By Cory Renauer]

    Treating diseases that have a genetic component by altering the expression of the responsible genes is a promising new field of medicine, but it has been much less straightforward than biopharmaceutical companies had expected. Two contenders in this area, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALNY) and Ionis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IONS), saw a mix of setbacks and success in 2016.

Hot Biotech Stocks To Watch For 2018: Medivation Inc.(MDVN)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    RBC’s Simos Simeonidis and Matthew Eckler try to find the right comparison for Pfizer’s (PFE) purchase of Medivation (MDVN):

    Scott Eisen/Bloomberg News

    We were obviously wrong with our Sector Perform rating: while we knew an M&A transaction was definitely a good possibility, we just could not get to this level of valuation using a realistic Xtandi model and thus could not recommend the stock. The only way for us to get to $81.50 (or even to $60-$70/share) would have been to assign very significant value to talazoparib. And we could not do that given the amount of available clinical evidence.Medivation shareholders who held on to their shares past the $50′s, did just that, were proven right and are now rewarded for it, since they believed that someone would be willing to pay for this asset just months ahead of Phase III data. The key question is why would a company be willing to part with what they claim/think may be a multibillion dollar drug that works in multiple cancers. We believe the obvious answer is because they’re smart and understand drug development risk better than most. We’ll know in a matter of months whether Pfizer/Medivation is like Amgen (AMGN)-Onyx (carfilzomib) or not.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Reports suggest that Gilead Sciences (GILD) and Celgene (CELG) have joined the bidding process forMedivation (MDVN), one that already includes (maybe) Amgen (AMGN), and of course Sanofi (SNY), which is trying to throw out Medivation’s board. Of the three biotech giants, Citigroup’s Robyn Karnauskas and team argue that Amgen is best positioned to win the battle. They explain why:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Medivation Inc (NASDAQ: MDVN) is said to have spurned recent takeover approach from France’s Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE: SNY), according to sources as reported by Bloomberg on Tuesday. Sanofi wants Medivation’s treatments for hard-to-cure cancers, the sources said. Medivation shares surged 8.46 percent to $49.60 in the after-hours trading session, while Sanofi shares fell 0.59 percent to $42.02 in after-hours trading.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Benzinga's newsdesk monitors options activity to notice unusual patterns. These large volume (and often out of the money) trades were initially published intraday in Benzinga Professional . These trades were placed during Friday's regular session.

    PACCAR Inc (NASDAQ: PCAR) Aug16 52.5 Puts: 10000 @ ASK $1.70: 10k traded vs 335 OI: Earnings 7/26 $54.94 Ref
    Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: REGN) Jul16 345 Puts: 949 @ ASK $8.70: 1003 traded vs 55 OI: Earnings 8/2 $360.20 Ref
    NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) Fri 6/24 47.0 Puts (Wkly) Sweep: 689 @ ASK $1.12: 3758 traded vs 136 OI: Earnings 8/4 $46.69 Ref
    Medivation Inc (NASDAQ: MDVN) Sep16 55.0 Puts: 4000 @ Above Ask! $3.40: 5303 traded vs 716 OI: Earnings 8/4 $59.44 Ref
    Expeditors International of Washington (NASDAQ: EXPD) Aug16 47.0 Puts Sweep: 950 @ ASK $1.35: 973 traded vs 381 OI: Earnings 8/2 $48.15 Ref


    Posted-In: Huge Put PurchasesNews Options Markets

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Well, it looks like Medivation (MDVN) now has five suitors after reports that Amgen (AMGN) is joining Pfizer (PFE), Sanofi (SNY), AstraZeneca (AZN) and Novartis (NVS) in considering a bid. Maxim’s Jason Kolbert and Jason McCarthy offer their thoughts:

    Medivation reports tonight at 4:30pm…

    We expect the focus to be on the recent proposals from Sanofi (SNY $38.75- NR); Pfizer (PFE $33.40 -NR), AstraZeneca (AZN $28.26-NR) and just today, Amgen (AMGN – $154.18 – NR)…


    Medivation is returning to new highs as suitors line up to make acquisition bids. In this scenario what is the right discount rate for modeling purposes?

    We believe our model for Xtandi revenues is good, therefore we review our risk rating and determine the following: 30% = $47 15% = $76 10% = $99

    With Medivation’s board having now said No to anything less than $65 per share, it suggests to us that the stability and predictability of Xtandi’s revenues is greater than we thought, the risk is lower. Our intermediate risk rating is 15% or $76 fair value.


    Shares of Medivation rose 0.3% to $59.22 today, while Pfizer gained 0.5% to $33.56, Sanofi fell 0.5% to $39.07, AstraZeneca dropped 0.6% to $39.07, Novartis declined 0.3% to $74.12, and Amgen ticked up 0.1% to $154.25.

     

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Shares of Medivation Inc (NASDAQ: MDVN) got a boost, shooting up 24 percent to $46.35 amid word of a new report from Bloomberg, saying the company is working with bankers to defend itself against preliminary interest of a takeover. However, Reuters separately reported the company is working with JPMorgan to handle interest from other companies, but said Medivation has no interest in selling itself.

Hot Biotech Stocks To Watch For 2018: ArQule Inc.(ARQL)


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    ArQule Inc. (NASDAQ: ARQL) dropped about 23% Friday, to post a new 52-week low of $1.13 after closing at $1.47 on Thursday. The stock’s 52-week high is $2.17. Volume was about 15 times the daily average of around 150,000 shares. The biopharmaceutical company said this morning that a phase 3 trial of a cancer drug did not meet the primary endpoint of improving overall survival.

Hot Biotech Stocks To Watch For 2018: ARIAD Pharmaceuticals Inc.(ARIA)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Healthcare shares gained around 0.73 percent in trading on Monday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARIA), and VCA Inc (NASDAQ: WOOF).

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