What are the biggest names in biotechnology? We count down the five top biotech stocks based on market cap.
What are the biggest names in biotechnology? The following five stocks have market capitalizations worth billions of dollars and operate in countries all around the globe.
Plus, these top biotech companies have pipelines stuffed with potentially disruptive products — and enough revenue to recover should some of those products fail.
This means that investors can experience the excitement of biotech investing while minimizing risk. Although returns are never guaranteed, company size can and does insulate investors from volatility.
Top biotech companies to consider
So if you’re feeling skittish, take heart: You’re not without options — the biotech companies below may be good bets. Our list was compiled using Investing.com’s stock screener and companies are listed in order of market cap size. All numbers were current at the time of writing.
1. Merck & Company (NYSE:MRK)
Market capitalization: US$198.85 billion
This New Jersey-based multinational company is one of the largest biopharmaceutical companies in the world, and has been developing and bringing to market medications and vaccines for more than 125 years. Today, Merck is at the forefront of biotech R&D aimed at the prevention and treatment of ailments including cancer, emerging animal diseases and infectious diseases such as HIV and Ebola.
Merck is also leveraging its research-intensive biotech capabilities in the fight against COVID-19. It recently partnered with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, a biotech company experienced in antiviral drug development. Together, they will advance EIDD-2801, an investigational, orally available antiviral agent currently in early clinical development for the treatment of patients with COVID-19.
2. Pfizer (NYSE:PFE)
Market capitalization: US$191.7 billion
New York-based multinational pharmaceutical company Pfizer is one of the most recognized names in medicine around the world. For more than 150 years, the firm has developed a global portfolio of medicines and vaccines, including many of the world’s best-known consumer healthcare products. Pfizer projects its 2020 revenues will be between US$48.5 billion and US$50.5 billion.
Pfizer is also charging into the fray in the fight against COVID-19. The company and its partner BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) recently announced positive preliminary data from a Phase 1/2 study of the most advanced of four investigational vaccine candidates from their BNT162 mRNA-based vaccine program, Project Lightspeed. Each of the four experimental vaccines in the BNT162 program represents a unique combination of mRNA format and target antigen.
3. AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV)
Market capitalization: US$174.26 billion
This biopharmaceutical company is one of the most well-known organizations in the industry. AbbVie’s operations are spread throughout 75 countries and its products are sold in over 170 nations. The Chicago-based company aims to treat a range of diseases in five key areas.
The company’s treatment areas include: virology, which includes hepatitis C and HIV; neurodegenerative diseases, such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis; immunology, including spondyloarthropathies, hidradenitis suppurativa and uveitis; oncology, which is the treatment of cancer; and general medicine, which includes women’s health.
In addition, in May AbbVie completed its acquisition of Allergan in a staggering US$63 billion blockbuster deal. The acquisition will see Allergan’s product line — which includes Botox, a non-surgical cosmetic treatment — added to help diversify AbbVie’s portfolio.
4. Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN)
Market capitalization: US$151.91 billion
Amgen — which stands for Applied Molecular Genetics — was established in 1980 and has extended its global reach to roughly 100 countries. It is one of the top biotech companies.
Since its inception, the company has made a name for itself tackling life-threatening illnesses. It targets six key therapeutic areas: oncology/hematology, cardiovascular disease, inflammation, bone health, nephrology and neuroscience. According to its pipeline overview, Amgen has over 30 products in different stages of clinical trials.
Its products Amjevita/Amgetvita and Mvasi have received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Commission (EC), while Kananjini has received EC approval. Amgen also has biosimilar products in early clinical-stage development.
5. AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN)
Market capitalization: US$141.2 billion
AstraZeneca, the last of the top biotech companies on this list, focuses on treating conditions in many main areas: cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, oncology, respiratory diseases, inflammation and autoimmune diseases, as well as infection and neuroscience.
The company has 167 projects in its pipeline plus nine new molecular operations in the late stages of clinical development. While AstraZeneca has a wide range of focus areas, its primary focal point is non-small-cell lung cancer. In addition, the company has research dedicated to small-cell lung cancer. In 2019, product sales for AstraZeneca touched US$23.57 billion, up from its sales of US$21.05 billion in 2018.
AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine is one of the most advanced candidates in the race to end the global pandemic. In June, the company reportedly signed a US$127 million agreement with Brazil under which the country will manufacture AstraZeneca’s experimental coronavirus vaccine. The company has signed a similar deal with a group of EU nations, including France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.
This is an updated version of an article originally published by the Investing News Network in 2016.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistillia, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.