Idera Pharmaceuticals, Eiger Biopharma, Aevi Genomic Medicine, Evofem Biosciences and Biospecifics Tech were last week’s top gainers on the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index.
The NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (INDEXNASDAQ:NBI) had a rollercoaster week, but evened out at 0.78 percent decrease to 3,642.59 points as of 1 p.m. EST Friday (August 17).
This week started out with a big announcement from German-based big pharma Bayer (OTCPINK:BAYRY, ETR:BAYN), as the company was ordered to pay US$289 million for a Monsanto lawsuit, blaming the company for not warning users of a link between its pesticide and cancer. This was the first verdict from thousands of outstanding court cases on similar issues. Bayer finished its takeover on Monsanto in June, 2018.
In other news, Summit Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SMMT, LSE:SUMM) was awarded an additional US$12 million bringing its total to US$44 million in gross committed funding from a Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) contract. The funding is to support Summit’s Phase 3 development program for ridinilazole, a precision mechanism antibiotic to treat C. difficile infection.
However, a number of other NASDAQ biotech companies saw significant share price increases last week. The five top gainers are as follows:
- Idera Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IDRA)
- Eiger Biopharma (NASDAQ:EIGR)
- Aevi Genomic Medicine (NASDAQ:GNMX)
- Evofem Biosciences (NASDAQ:EVFM)
- Biospecifics Tech (NASDAQ:BSTC)
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.
Idera Pharmaceuticals, with a 26.81 percent increase to $8.76, gives the company the top spot on top weekly NASDAQ biotech stocks list.
The company didn’t have any news over the past trading week, however it did have a presentation at the Wedbush PacGrow Healthcare Conference on Tuesday (August 14).
Working on immunotherapy research, Idera’s lead development program is focused on priming the immune system to fight cancer and increase the amount of people who can benefit from immunotherapy. Two out of the four drug candidates in Idera’s pipeline are partnered with the likes of GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) and the private company Vivelix.
Second on our weekly NASDAQ biotech stocks list is clinical-stage company Eiger Biopharma. Working on developing and commercializing targeted therapies for rare diseases, the company’s lead program candidate is Hepatitis Delta Virus (HDV) infection, currently moving into Phase 3—which is set to initiate by the end of 2018.
Aside from the lead program candidate, the company announced on Monday that it finished enrollment for its Phase 2 Prevent study of avexitide in post-bariatric surgical patients who experience dangerously low, hypoglycemia, known as post-bariatric hypoglycemia.
This news may have been what caused investor interest in the company with a 19.80 percent share price increase to $11.70.
Aevi Genomic Medicine
Aevi Genomic Medicine completed enrollment in Part A of its Ascend trial, which is assessing AEVI-001, a mGluR mutation positive genetic subset to treat ADHD in pediatric and adolescent patients.
The company’s focus is working with genomic medicine to translate genetic discoveries into novel therapies, such as with AEVI-001. Aside from this trial, the company is also working on treatments for Crohn’s Disease and another undisclosed rare pediatric disease.
Over the five day trading period, shares of the company increased 10.89 percent to $1.10.
Evofem is a clinical-stage women’s sexual and reproductive health company using its multi-purpose prevention technology gel to develop product candidates for multiple indications. Some include contraception, prevention of urogenital transmission of some SDIs and recurrent bacterial vaginosis.
Evofem Biosciences didn’t have any news during last week’s trading period which may have triggered a share price increase, but it did release its Q2 2018 financial results in the first week of August.
Over the past trading week, the company’s share price reached to $2.16 with a 9.05 percent increase.
The last company to make it on our weekly NASDAQ biotech stocks list is Biospecifics Tech, which is developing collagenase-based therapies. The company’s collagenase-based product Xiaflex is marketed in the US and in Europe under the name Xiapex.
What may be showing investor interest in the company was the release of its Q2 2018 financial results on August 9. This showed an increase in sales revenue from $6.53 million to $7.09 million over the same time period of the previous year.
Biospecific’s share price increased 8.99 percent over the past trading week to $52.41.
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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.