Pharmaceuticals are making some solid returns to investors thanks to successful trials and positive news from them as well, such as completion of enrollment or dosing news from patients.
Despite the uncertainty from research funds in the US potentially getting cut down, many companies are still in the middle of major trials and potential treatments for various cancers and other infectious diseases.
With that inn mind, the Investing News Network (INN) profiles of the best-performing pharmaceutical stocks during the first quarter of 2017.
The list below was generated using The Globe and Mail’s market data filter and shows the NASDAQ listed pharmaceutical companies with the biggest share price gains from January 1 to April 19. Only companies with market caps above $50 million and less than $500 million are included.
Here’s a closer look at NASDAQ’s 5 top pharma stocks for Q1 2017.
Calithera Biosciences (NASDAQ:CALA)
Current share price: $11.60; year-to-date gain: 256.92 percent
This company is combating cancer through an alternative method, by using molecule oncology drugs and targeting tumors in the body. Novel methods like this one have created an interesting new space for companies to research various cancers and how to treat them.
In March of 2017, the company closed a public offering netting approximately $80.5 million. In an update to investors, CEO Susan Molineaux said the company expects vital clinical data from two trials this year.
Calithera is currently testing its two lead drug candidates, CB-839 and CB-1158. The former is undergoing a trial to evaluate its progress against solid tumors; the latter is an “immuno-oncology metabolic checkpoint inhibitor targeting arginase,” that has been used to treat patients already in these trials.
Innocoll Holdings (NASDAQ:INNL)
Current share price: $2.19; year-to-date gain: 210.14 percent
Innocoll is using its own matrix technology to develop collagen-based medicines. Their catalog includes several products already in the market. Currently, the company is in the middle of three trials of products for postsurgical pain management, diabetic foot infections and the prevention of surgical adhesions.
The company recently confirmed rumors of a possible acquisition when it revealed Gurnet Point officially reached an agreement to buy Innocoll for approximately $209 million.
Thanks to this process, Gurnet Point would be giving the company 10 million loans to fund the development of XARACOLL, which was shut down by the US Food and Drug Administration late last year.
Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:TTPH)
Current share price $8.14; year-to-date gain: 101.99 percent
Tetraphase bases their work on their innovative chemistry platform, which has allowed them to target antibiotic resistance in diseases. Through the use of this proprietary tech, Tetraphase has worked on “ over 3,000 tetracycline analogs.”
The company earned a $4 million research fund from Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X). The fund is based on the company’s work with their drug candidate TP-6076, which is set to enter a Phase 1 trial sometime this year.
Tetraphase also recently completed the enrollment for an upcoming Phase 3 trial of Eravacycline, a fluorocycline antibiotic designed to treat life-threatening bacterial infections. The trial will begin in the third quarter of 2017.
Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PPHM)
Current share price: $0.56; year-to-date gain: 81.58 percent
Peregrine is also focused on cancer treatment, with the use of monoclonal antibodies. Its flagship product, bavituximab, is being tested alone and in concoction with other anticancer agents on tumors.
At this year’s Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, the company showcased new clinical data on bavituximab and its potential. “This will be the key focus for upcoming early phase clinical trials, which includes a study of bavituximab and pembrolizumab in head and neck cancer,” Joseph Shan, vice president of clinical and regulatory affairs, said in a statement.
Nymox Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:NYMX)
Current share price: $4.54; year-to-date gain: 70.04 percent
Closing out the top five is Nymox Pharmaceutical, who has drug candidates for cancer, infectious diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. The company is currently involved in a Phase 3 trial for NX-1207 to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
In March 2017, James G. Robinson, a member of the board of directors for Nymox, allegedly purchased a hefty amount of shares from the company. “ He now owns 3,317,950 shares of the company,” the report states.
Following the news, the company’s stock became a hot item for trading insiders and analysts with a solid performance and recommendations so far this year.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.