Top 10 Biotech Stocks To Watch Right Now

Investing in biotechs can be an exercise in frustration, as Lexicon Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LXRX) so amply demonstrates. While I believe the company has continued to build a solid case that its dual SGLT-1/2 inhibitor sotagliflozin can and should be approved for use in Type 1 diabetes, the shares are down about 20% from the time of my last update. Although the data package on sotagliflozin is not perfect, I believe it shows acceptable safety and worthwhile efficacy for a patient group with virtually no medical treatment options beyond insulin.

InTandem2 Comes In Pretty Much As Expected

Before the open on December 21, Lexicon announced the results of its inTandem2 study – the second of three Phase III studies it is conducting on sotagliflozin in Type 1 diabetics. While the results were not flawless, they looked to me to be broadly consistent with the prior inTandem1 study and good enough to support eventual FDA approval and commercial success.

The inTandem2 study showed a 0.36% placebo-adjusted reduction in HbA1c for the 200mg dosage and a 0.34% placebo-adjusted reduction in the 400mg group. Those results were broadly similar to the results seen in the inTandem1 study (a 0.35% and 0.41% placebo-adjusted reduction) in a basically similar patient population. That there was/is no meaningful separation between the 200mg and 400mg groups could be a potential source of disappointment, as the lack of a distinctly better response at 400mg could conceivably reduce the sales potential. That said, there hasn’t been a study of whether those who don’t respond adequately to the 200mg dose respond at the 400mg dose, so that could still be an option.

Top 10 Biotech Stocks To Watch Right Now: Medivation Inc.(MDVN)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Last night, Bloomberg reported that Sanofi (SNY) had made a bid for Medivation (MDVN) but had been rebuffed, while noting that other companies–perhaps Gilead Sciences (GILD), Amgen (AMGN) or AstraZeneca (AZN)?–were also on the prowl. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey’s Peter Lawson explains why Medivation might be biotech’s most wanted:

  • [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]

    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 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.

     

Top 10 Biotech Stocks To Watch Right Now: 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).

Top 10 Biotech Stocks To Watch Right Now: ArQule Inc.(ARQL)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ethan Ryder]

    Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on ArQule (ARQL)

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  • [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.

Top 10 Biotech Stocks To Watch Right Now: Amgen Inc.(AMGN)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By ]

    This week we get our first look at quarterly numbers from major drug and biotech giants such as AbbVie (ABBV)  , Amgen (AMGN)  , Biogen (BIIB) , Biomarin Pharmaceuticals (BMRN)  and Action Alerts PLUS holding Eli Lilly (LLY) , which all provide the market a glimpse of how the first quarter was for the industry over the next few days,” according to Real Money Pro columnist Bret Jensen.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Amgen (AMGN) has tumbled 3.6% to $158.65 after beating earnings forecasts but missing on sales.

    Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) has dropped 3% to $157.51 after its earnings fell short of the Street consensus.

  • [By Maxx Chatsko]

    Shares of Radius Health (NASDAQ:RDUS) rose over 20% Monday morning after Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) announced worrisome complications were discovered during a phase 3 trial for its osteoporosis drug candidate, Evenity. While the drug candidate met its primary endpoint in a more than 4,000-patient phase 3 study, a high rate of serious heart-related side effects were discovered. The drug was previously expected to gain marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in July, but that decision will now be delayed by up to a year or more, if the drug is approved at all.

Top 10 Biotech Stocks To Watch Right Now: Biogen Idec Inc(BIIB)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Biogen (BIIB) tumbled to the bottom of the S&P 500 today after getting cut by two analysts.

    Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

    Biogen dropped 4.7% to $278.96 at 4:19 p.m. today, while the S&P 500 declined 0.2% to 2,381.38.

    Leerinks Geoffrey Porges cited the “slower than expected ramp for Spinraza” in cutting Biogen to Market Perform from Outperform, while Morgan Stanly’s Matthew Harrison wrote that his decision to cut Biogen to Market Weight from Overweight was “not a downside call, but a timing call.”

    Biogen’s market capitalization fell to $60.2 billion today from $63.2 billion yesterday. It reported net income of $3.7 billion on sales of $10.2 billion in 2016.

    Barron’s Teresa Rivas recommended buying Biogen in December after the company released positive trial data on its Alzheimer’s drug.

  • [By Chris Lange]

    The S&P 500 stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Thursday was Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) which traded down 4.6% at $279.08. The stocks 52-week range is $223.02 to $333.65. Volume was 3.4 million versus the daily average of 1.6 million shares.

  • [By Chris Lange]

    Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) is expected to report its first-quarter results early on Tuesday. The consensus forecast calls for $5.92 in earnings per share (EPS) and revenue of $3.15 billion. Shares of Biogen ended last week at $263.02. The consensus analyst price target is all the way up at $371.97. The 52-week trading range is $244.28 to $370.57.

  • [By Chris Lange]

    The S&P 500 stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Monday was Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) which traded down nearly 4% at $329.58. The stocks 52-week range is $244.28 to $348.84. Volume was 1.2 million matching the daily average of 1.2 million shares.

  • [By Chris Lange]

    The S&P 500 stock posting the largest daily percentage loss ahead of the close Wednesday was Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) which traded down about 6% at 297.99. The stocks 52-week range is $244.28 to $370.67. Volume was about 5 million compared to the daily average volume of roughly 1 million.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Biogen (BIIB) has dropped 2.2% to $286.16 after getting cut to Market Perform from Outperform at Leerink, and to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley.

Top 10 Biotech Stocks To Watch Right Now: Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc.(ALNY)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Brian Orelli]

    Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALNY) jumped as much as 14.5% today after announcing earnings after the bell yesterday. As a development-stage biotech, it wasn’t the revenue or the earnings that caused the spike, but the progression of Allnylam’s pipeline.

  • [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 Chris Dier-Scalise]

    On Thursday, the Vetr crowd downgraded Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALNY) from 4.5 stars (Strong Buy), which was issued two days ago, to 3.5 stars (Hold). Crowd sentiment for Alnylam at the time of the downgrade was edging positive, with 66 percent of Vetr user rating bullish.

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