Biotech

Biotech Investing

Proteon Therapeutics, Chiasma, Vermillion, Anavex Life Sciences and Foamix Pharmaceuticals were last week’s top gainers.

Unlike the previous week, the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (INDEXNASDAQ:NBI) was on the decline last week, dipping heavily from 3,641.38 points on Monday (March 4) to 3,398.01 points as of 2:00 p.m. EST on Friday (March 8), representing a 6.6 percent decrease during the five-day trading period.

In terms of small-to-mid-cap companies on the NASDAQ, a number of companies were on the rise last week, including:

  • Proteon Therapeutics (NASDAQ:PRTO)
  • Chiasma (NASDAQ:CHMA)
  • Vermillion (NASDAQ:VRML)
  • Anavex Life Sciences (NASDAQ:AVXL)
  • Foamix Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:FOMX)

Here’s a closer look at those companies and what may have moved their share prices during the week.

Proteon Therapeutics

First on our five top weekly NASDAQ biotech stocks list is Proteon Therapeutics, which is a company dedicated to developing and commercializing therapeutics to treat patients with kidney and vascular diseases.

The company’s lead product candidate is vonapanitase, which is an investigational drug meant to improve hemodialysis vascular access outcomes. The drug has completed enrollment in a Phase 3 clinical trial called PATENCY-2, to evaluate patients with chronic kidney disease going through surgical creation of a radiocephalic arteriovenous fistula for hemodialysis. Proteon also has a Phase 1 clinical trial underway to evaluate vonapanitase in patients with peripheral artery disease.

Proteon Therapeutics didn’t have any significant news last week, although it did reveal it will be presenting at the Cowen and Company’s 39th Annual Health Care Conference this coming Monday (March 11).

Shares of the company increased 33.21 percent last week to US$3.61 as of 2:40 p.m. EST on Friday.

Chiasma

Chiasma is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company working on treatments for rare and serious chronic diseases. The company’s Transient Permeability Enhancer is intended to develop and commercialize oral medications that are currently only available as oral injections.

The company is currently developing octreotide capsules under the name Mycapssa to treat adult patients with acromegaly, which has completed an international Phase 3 trial. Chiasma is also conducting a Phase 3 clinical trial under a Special Protocol Assessment agreement made with the FDA for maintenance therapy of adult patients with acromegaly.

Much like Proteon Therapeutics, Chiasma didn’t have any significant news last week other than announcing it will be presenting at three investor conferences this month.

Shares of Chiasma were up 33 percent last week to US$5.86 as of 2:46 p.m. EST on Friday.

Vermillion

Middle of the pack is Vermillion, which is a company working to develop and commercialize diagnostic and bio-analytical solutions that help health care professionals diagnose, treat and improve gynecologic-related issues for women.

The company’s initial in vitro diagnostic test, called OVA1, was the first FDA-cleared, protein-based In Vitro Diagnostic Multivariate Index Assay. Vermillion also received FDA clearance in March 2016 for its Overa, a second generation OVA1 test.

However, Vermillion didn’t have any news last week that could relate to its rising share price. Over the five-day trading period, shares of Vermillion rose 28.57 percent to US$0.93 as of 2:52 p.m. EST on Friday.

Anavex Life Sciences

Next is Anavex Life Sciences, a company that is working on precision genetic medicine to treat severe neurological disorders in addition to rare diseases with no available therapy and high risk CNS patient populations, which includes Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease.

This past Monday (March 4), the company revealed a publication by an independent scientific group showed that its drug, ANAVEX2-73, completed a Phase 2a clinical trial and is now being studied in a Phase 2b/3 study to treat early Alzheimer’s Disease as well as a Phase 2 study for Parkinson’s Disease.

As a result, it’s no surprise that shares of Anavex Life Sciences were on the rise last week, which were up 21.49 percent last week to US$2.79 as of 2:58 p.m. EST on Friday.

Foamix Pharmaceuticals

Rounding out our five top weekly NASDAQ biotech stocks list is Foamix Pharmaceuticals, a company that is primarily focused on developing and commercializing drugs for dermatological conditions.

The company currently has two lead investigational drug candidates in advanced clinical stages. The first is FMX101, which is to treat moderate-to-severe acne, and FMX103, which is to treat moderate-to-severe papulopustular rosacea.

In addition to announcing it will be presenting at two investor conferences, Foamix revealed on Thursday (March 7) that it had received FDA acceptance of a new drug application for FMX1010 to treat acne. According to the press release, the acceptance comes from two Phase 2 trial results, which showed treatment success.

Shares of Foamix Pharmaceuticals increased 19.67 percent last week to US$4.38 as of 3:04 p.m. EST on Friday.

 NASDAQ Biotech Stocks articles is retrieved each Friday at 1:00 p.m. EST using TradingView’s Stock Screener. Only companies with a market capitalization greater than $50 million and lower than $500 million prior to the week’s gains are included. Companies within the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors are considered.

Don’t forget to follow us at @INN_LifeScience for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Jocelyn Aspa, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.


**This article is updated each week. Please scroll to the top for the most recent information**

5 Top Weekly NASDAQ Biotech Stocks: Magenta Therapeutics Rises

By Jocelyn Aspa, March 3, 2019

The NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (INDEXNASDAQ:NBI) had a steady increase throughout last week, rising 2.9 percent from Monday’s (February 25) open of 3,503.33 points to 3,607.49 points as of 2 p.m. EST on Friday (March 1).

Big news last week included a hearing held by the Senate Finance Committee in Congress on Tuesday (February 26), where the congressional committee grilled seven pharmaceutical executives on the high cost of drug prices.

Companies that appeared before the Senate Finance Committee included: AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV), AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN), Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Merck (NYSE:MRK), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY).

The hearing, titled “Drug Pricing in America: A Prescription for Change, Part II,” was led by Chairman Chuck Grassley, who said in his opening remarks that “drug prices are astronomically high because that’s where pharmaceutical companies and their investors want them.”

In terms of small-to-mid-cap organizations on the NASDAQ, share prices of a number of these companies were on the rise last week, including:

  • Magenta Therapeutics (NASDAQ:MGTA)
  • China SXT Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SXTC)
  • Genocea Biosciences (NASDAQ:GNCA)
  • MeiraGTx Holdings (NASDAQ:MGTX)
  • Equillium (NASDAQ:EQ)

Here’s a closer look at those companies and what may have moved the needle on their share prices last week.

Magenta Therapeutics

First on our five top weekly NASDAQ biotech stocks list is Magenta Therapeutics. This company is focused on the potential for bone marrow transplants and has several products in development. ITs most advanced, the MGTA-456, is currently in Phase 1/2 clinical trials.

Overall, its targeted therapeutics are intended to transform patient preparation, stem cell expansion and stem cell harvesting in addition to reducing post-transplant complications, like Graft-Versus-Host Disease.

On Monday, the company had two significant announcements: the first being the presentation of clinical and preclinical data on the MGTA-456 cell therapy at the Transplant and Cellular Therapy annual meeting. According to the release, Magenta Therapeutics intents to enroll 12 patients in the ongoing Phase 2 study for people with metabolic disorders.

The company’s second announcement on Monday detailed preclinical research on its targeted conditioning programs in four separate presentations at the TCT annual meeting.

As a result, shares of Magenta Therapeutics were unsurprisingly on the rise last week, increasing 43.77 percent to US$13.48 as of 2:25 p.m. EST on Friday.

China SXT Pharmaceuticals

China SXT Pharmaceuticals is second on the list, and focuses on research, development manufacturing, marketing and sales of traditional Chinese medicine pieces (TCMP).

China SXT Pharmaceuticals’ product lines include Directly-oral TCMP, which is an oral product; After-soaking-oral TCMP, which can be taken after soaking with hot water; Fine TCMP, which the company states it has over 30 products in this segment; and Regular TCMP, which China SXT Pharmaceuticals says it manufactures over 600 products under this category.

Shares of China SXT Pharmaceuticals were up 40.95 percent last week to US$7.09 as of 2:28 p.m. EST on Friday. That being said, however, the company didn’t have any news last week that could relate to its rising share price.

Genocea Biosciences

Middle of the pack on our list is Genocea Biosciences, which is a company focused on fighting cancers through targeted vaccines and immunotherapies.

The company’s lead product, called GEN-009, uses the ATLAs platform to “optimize neoantigen selection for personalized cancer vaccines.” The product is currently in a Phase 1/2a clinical trial to study efficacy, immunogenicity and efficacy.

On Thursday (February 28), the company announced its Q4 2018 results, highlighting an increase in cash and cash equivalents to US$26.4 million, compared to US$12.3 million in the previous year. Genocea Biosciences also revealed that dosing of the first patients and enrollment had been completed in Part A of its Phase 1/2a clinical trial for GEN-009. Immunogenicity data from this study should be available sometime in mid-2019.

Shares of the company were up 35.29 percent last week to US$0.77.

MeiraGTx Holdings

Next is MeiraGTx Holdings, a clinical stage gene therapy company working on developing treatments for patients with serious diseases. The company currently has five programs in clinical trials which includes three ocular indications, a salivary gland condition and a Parkinson’s disease program.

On Wednesday (February 27), MeiraGTx Holdings revealed a US$80 million private placement of ordinary shares. According to the announcement, the company will issue 5.8 million ordinary shares at a price of US$13.80 per share.

Over the five-day trading period, shares of MeiraGTx Holdings increased 30.09 percent to reach US$16.46 as of 2:42 p.m. EST on Friday.

Equillium

Closing out our five top weekly NASDAQ biotech stocks list is Equillium, which is working to develop products to treat severe autoimmune and inflammatory disorders with high unmet medical needs.

The company’s lead product, EQ001, is in a clinical-stage and is intended to target the novel immune checkpoint receptor, CD6. CD6 is a co-stimulatory receptor that is pivotal in the activation, proliferation, differentiation and trafficking of effector T cells that are responsible for a variety of immuno-inflammatory diseases.

On Tuesday, the company announced its intentions to develop EQ001 for treating lupus nephritis. Equillium also noted that it remains on track to initiate the EQUATE Phase 1b/2 trial in acute Graft-Versus-Host-Disease in Q1 2019.

Shares of Equillium were up 29.42 percent last week to US$7.52 as of 2:49 p.m. EST on Friday.

 NASDAQ Biotech Stocks articles is retrieved each Friday at 1:00 p.m. EST using TradingView’s Stock Screener. Only companies with a market capitalization greater than $50 million and lower than $500 million prior to the week’s gains are included. Companies within the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors are considered.

Don’t forget to follow us at @INN_LifeScience for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Jocelyn Aspa, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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