5 Top Weekly NASDAQ Biotech Stocks: Vericel Takes Top Spot

- August 12th, 2018

Vericel, AcelRx, Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals, KalVista and Infinity Pharmaceuticals were last week’s top gainers on the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index.

The NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (INDEXNASDAQ:NBI) saw increases throughout last week, but had evened out at a 0.27-percent increase as of 12:15 p.m. on Friday (August 10).

Starting off the week, Bellerophon Therapeutics (NASDAQ:BLPH) announced challenging information for investors to digest, a halt to its Phase 3 clinical study of INOvation. The stop was recommended by the Data Monitoring Committee after an analysis of the trial revealed that the primary endpoint was insufficient to support its completion.

Later in the week, AVITA Medical (ASX:AVH,OTCQX:AVMXY) announced that the clinical trial for its Recell Autologous Cell Harvesting Device has been expanded to include up to 108 patients and 26 US burn centers. This news was brought on by the company presenting encouraging data at the American Burn Association 50th Annual Meeting.

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While Bellerophon saw a drastic drop in its share price, AVITA’s news didn’t get a big response from investors. However, a number of other NASDAQ biotech companies saw significant share price gains last week. The five top gainers are as follows:

  • Vericel (NASDAQ:VCEL)
  • AcelRx (NASDAQ:ACRX)
  • Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:TTPH)
  • KalVista (NASDAQ:KALV)
  • Infinity Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INFI)

Here’s a closer look at those companies and what moved their share prices last week. Share prices are quoted in US dollars and were taken from Google Finance at 2:30 p.m. EST on Friday.

Vericel

First on this weekly NASDAQ biotech stocks list is Vericel, which saw a 24.63-percent increase in share price to $12.98. Vericel develops patient-specific cellular therapies for use in the treatment of patients with severe diseases and conditions. Currently the company has two autologous cell therapies marketed in the US, Carticel and Epicel.

Early in the week, Vericel announced positive Q2 2018 financial results, reporting a $2-million increase in net revenue over the same quarter in the previous year. The company saw a net loss of $4.7 million vs. $2.4 million in the year-ago period.

AcelRx

Specialty pharmaceutical company AcelRx is developing drugs to treat pain, with two drugs in development, Dsuvia and Zalviso. Both are treatments for various severities of acute pain.

Landing second on our weekly NASDAQ biotech stocks list, the company’s share price saw a 19.23-percent increase to $3.10.

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Without much news over the past week, its hard say what caused this increase, but investors may be showing interest in the company’s Q2 financial results, which were released on August 2. Due to lower collaboration agreement revenue, AcelRx’s total revenue decreased to $818,000 from $2.65 million in the same quarter of 2017. The firm’s losses from operations and net loss were also lower.

Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals

News for Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals has been rocky in recent weeks, with class-action lawsuits being announced and commencing. One in particular, from Levi & Korinsky, alleges that PolarityTE (NASDAQ:COOL) made materially false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose the true nature of the status of different patents at the time it was acquired by Tetraphase.

Against that backdrop, the company’s share price increased 18.73 percent to reach $3.25. Tetraphase develops tetracycline-based drugs to treat drug-resistant infectious diseases, inflammation and cancer. The company’s principal product is eravacycline, an IV and oral antibiotic to treat multi-drug resistant Gram-negative infections.

KalVista

KalVista made it onto our weekly NASDAQ biotech stocks list for the second week in a row. The company’s share price increased to $12.40 last week with an 18.43-percent increase.

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Aside from releasing an operational update and its fiscal year financial results, the company announced it will present at the Wedbush PacGrow Healthcare Conference. The financial results reveal big increases on almost every point of interest for KalVista’s balance sheet — for example, its total assets nearly doubled to reach $61,389. The company also reported $14.6 million in financing funds into H1 2020.

The company is working on developing small-molecule protease inhibitors for diseases with significant unmet needs. KVD is in an ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial for Plasma Kallikrein; another drug candidate called KVD900 has the same target, and a Phase 2 trial will be initiated within the year.

Infinity Pharmaceuticals

The final company to make it onto last week’s top NASDAQ biotech stocks list is Infinity Pharmaceuticals. This cancer drug developer is leveraging its strength with small molecule drug technologies for best-in-class medicines for patients.

Over the past trading week Infinity released its Q2 financial results. The company reported total cash, cash equivalents and available-for-sale securities of $49.2 million, up from $1.4 million from the previous quarter. Over the course of the week, Infinity’s share price jumped by 18.36 percent to hit $2.22.

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

Data for 5 Top NASDAQ Biotech Stocks articles is retrieved each Friday at 1:00 p.m. EST using Globe and Mail’s Stock Filter. 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.

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

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

5 Top Weekly NASDAQ Biotech Stocks: KalVista on Top

By Gabrielle Lakusta, August 5, 2018

Last week, the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (INDEXNASDAQ:NBI) had a small bounce back after a dip over the previous week. Starting at 3,621.14 points on Monday (July 30), the index increased 1.61 percent to 3,687.52 as of 2 p.m. EST on Friday (August 3).

With an abundance of positive continued news from the end of July to August, last week Apricus Biosciences (NASDAQ:APRI) and Seelos Therapeutics announced a merger. The two will remain with the name Seelos, and change Apricus’ NASDAQ symbol to SEEL. This M&A activity can remind investors even in the—often—slow moments of summer, theres always important news to be heard.

Later in the week Resverlogix (TSX:RVX) released its plans to pursue a US listing and plans to remain on the Toronto Stock Exchange if the US listing is approved. The company is seeking approval from stockholders in a meeting which will occur in the middle of September. Following a positive response from stockholders, the company will continue to work on other requirements to fulfill the US listing.

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While those announcements may not have moved the needle much on their stock prices, a number of other NASDAQ biotech companies saw significant share price gains last week, including:

  • KalVista (NASDAQ:KALV)
  • Correvio Pharma (NASDAQ:CORV)
  • Histogenics (NASDAQ:HSGX)
  • MEI Pharma (NASDAQ:MEIP)
  • Soleno Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SLNO)

Here’s a closer look at those companies and to see what moved their share prices last week. Share prices are quoted in US dollars and taken from Google finance as of 2:30 p.m. EST Friday (August 3).

KalVista

First on last week’s top NASDAQ biotech stocks list is KalVista. The company made it top on the list with a 31 percent stock price increase to $10.74.

KalVista released its operational update and fiscal year financial results which may have been what prompted this increase. The financial results reveal the company’s big increases on almost every point of interest for its balance sheets, including a near double amount of the previous year’s total assets now at $61,389. Other big news includes $14.6 million financial funds into H1 2020, which goes past anticipated key milestones for both programs.

The company is working on developing small molecule protease inhibitors for diseases with significant unmet needs. KVD is in an ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial for Plasma Kallikrein, while another drug candidate KVD900 has the same target, initiating its Phase 2 trial within the year.

Correvio Pharma

While Correvio didn’t have much news over the last trading week, a presentation at the Canaccord Genuity 38th Annual Growth Conference was announced on Wednesday (August 1). The presentation will take place on August 8.

This specialty pharmaceutical company is focused on providing quality brands for the needs of acute care physicians and patients. Its commercialized products are distributed throughout 60 countries, while the company continues to develop, acquire and commercialize brands for the same market.

This news may have been what spurred a share price increase of 10.31 percent to $4.69.

Histogenics

Histogenics is a restorative cell therapy developer, intending to offer rapid-onset pain relief and restored function through its products. The company’s lead product candidate is NeoCart, a product designed to rebuild a patient’s own knee cartilage to treat pain from the source and possibly prevent progression to osteoarthritis.

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A new chief medical officer was appointed in last week, which may have triggered investor interest. The company also released its anticipated Q2 2018 financial results on August 9.

Shares of Histogenics increased 9.68 percent to a share price of $2.40.

MEI Pharma

Featured on this list multiple times, MEI is on our top weekly NASDAQ biotech stocks list again with a 9.12 percent share price increase to $3.79. That said, the company did not have any news last week to relate to its rising share price.

MEI is working on leveraging extensive development and oncology expertise to identify and advance new therapies for oncology needs. Its portfolio of drug candidates includes pracinostat, an oral HDAC inhibitor that is partnered with Helsinn Healthcare. The candidate was granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in combination with azacitidine for the treatment of patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who are unfit for intensive chemotherapy.

Soleno Therapeutics

The final company to make it on last week’s top NASDAQ biotech stocks list Soleno, with a 7.14 percent share price increase to $2.69.

On Monday, the company announced it received fast track designation from the FDA for DCCR for the treatment of Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS). The drug is currently in Phase 3 clinical development, and also has orphan drug designation for the treatment of PWS in the US and the European Union.

The drug is Soleno’s lead and only product candidate, representing the company’s focus of working on therapeutics for rare diseases.

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

Data for 5 Top NASDAQ Biotech Stocks articles is retrieved each Friday at 1:00 p.m. EST using the Globe and Mail’s Stock Filter. 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.

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

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