5 Top Weekly NASDAQ Biotech Stocks: PhaseBio Climbs 73 Percent

- March 24th, 2019

PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals, Iterum Therapeutics, Catalyst Pharmaceuticals, Aravive and ConforMIS were last week’s top gainers.

The NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (INDEXNASDAQ:NBI) had a tumultuous week last week, dipping from 3,592.73 points on Monday’s (March 18) open to 3,434.82 points as of Friday (March 22) at 1:10 p.m. EST.

One of the top stories of the week was Sage Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SAGE) receiving the first-ever US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its postpartum depression treatment, Zulresso. The drug will be available as an IV injection to treat adult women living with postpartum depression.

Sage Therapeutics said Zulresso will be available towards the end of June once scheduling by the US Drug Enforcement Administration has been completed, which should occur within 90 days of the approval.

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On that note, a number of small- to mid-cap life-science-related stocks were on the rise last week, including:

  • PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PHAS)
  • Iterum Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ITRM)
  • Catalyst Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CPRX)
  • Aravive (NASDAQ:ARAV)

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

PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals

First is PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals, which is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company working on developing and commercializing novel therapies for orphan diseases. The company’s lead product candidate is PB2452, which is a reversal agent for the antiplatelet drug ticagrelor. PhaseBio’s second drug candidate is PB1046, which is a protein treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension.

On Sunday (March 17), the company revealed that the New England Journal of Medicine published results from its Phase 1 clinical trial of PB2452. The trial evaluated the safety, efficacy and pharmacokinetics of IV PB2452 as a ticagrelor reversal agent in healthy people. It showed that the drug reversed the antiplatelet effects of ticagrelor without any “serious adverse events.”

Shares of PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals were up 72.85 percent last week to US$6.49 as of 2 p.m. EST on Friday.

Iterum Therapeutics

Second on the list is Iterum Therapeutics, which is a company focused on developing anti-infectives to deal with multi-drug-resistant pathogens. The company is working on advancing its first compound, sulopenem, in a Phase 3 clinical trial with oral and IV forms.

The company announced on Tuesday (March 19), that it received qualified infectious disease product approval from the FDA for sulopenem in four indications as well as fast-track designation.

Shares of Iterum Therapeutics rose 34.13 percent to reach US$7.27 as of 2:17 p.m. EST on Friday.

Catalyst Pharmaceuticals

Middle of the pack is Catalyst Pharmaceuticals, which is focused on helping patients with rare and ultra-rare diseases including Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS), congenital myasthenic syndromes, MuSK antibody positive myasthenia gravis (MuSK-MG) and spinal muscular atrophy type 3 (SMA3).

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Catalyst also has a new-drug application for firdapse, which is designed to treat LEMS and has officially been approved by the FDA.

The company released its Q4 and year-end financial results on Monday, which highlighted Catalyst enrolling the first patient in a SMA3 proof-of-concept trial in addition to the first patient being enrolled in a MuSK-MG Phase 3 trial.

As a result, it’s no surprise that the company’s shares were on the move last week, up 33.89 percent to US$3.98 as of 2:44 p.m. EST on Friday.


Next is Aravive, which is a company working to develop therapies that focus on vital survival pathways for cancer. The company’s lead product, AVB-500, is designed to treat women with ovarian cancer. Readouts of the safety, pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic data for the Phase 1b portion are expected in Q3 2019.

Aravive announced on Tuesday that its lead candidate from a non-clinical ovarian cancer study was highlighted in a presentation at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology’s 50th Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer, which took place in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Last week, shares of Aravive increased 33.72 percent to hit US$8.22 as of 2:52 p.m. EST on Friday.


Rounding out our list is ConforMIS, a company that develops knee and hip replacements customized to each patient.

The company’s three main products include the iTotal, which is a custom-made cruciate-retaining and posterior-stabilizing knee replacement; the iUni and iDuo, which are patient-specific knee-replacement options; and the iJig instrumentation, which is a 3D-printed surgical instrumentation specific to each patient.

ConforMIS didn’t have any news last week that could relate to its increase in share price. Over the five-day trading period, the company’s stock was up 28.65 percent to US$2.42 as of 2:58 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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