5 Top Biotech Stocks on the TSX Year-to-date

INN takes a look at the top performing biotech stocks on the TSX year-to-date

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New technologies and developments have opened the doors for the biotech industry to flourish this year, the blending of novel candidates and new business models has helped this market develop substantially so far in 2017.

market report from Deloitte on the whole life science sector indicated a projection of $8.7 trillion by the year 2020. The biotech sector has proven itself so far in 2017, providing investors with plenty of opportunities for growth. With that in mind, the Investing News Network (INN) updates our profiles on the top five biotech stocks on the Toronto Stock Exchange year-to-date.

The companies listed below have market caps of less than $500 million and over $50 million. All figures and numbers are current as of market closing time on September 19, 2017, with data compiled from Google Finance.

Fennec Pharmaceuticals (TSX:FRX)

Market cap: 228.42 million; year-to-date percentage gain: 419.54 percent; current share price: $13.56

The top biotech stocks TSX year-to-date is Fennec, which is a biopharmaceutical company with a focus on cancer therapies. The company currently has two product candidates, both in the Phase 3 stage of their respective trials. The company’s priority is the SIOPEL 6 trial, which according to CEO Rosty Raykov will be producing results in October. The company announced it started trading on the NASDAQ on September 13.

During their second quarter financial report Raykov highlighted the potential SIOPEL 6 will have on the company’s future as it prepares for upcoming planned NDA and MAA submissions.

Oncolytics Biotech (TSX:ONC)

Market cap; 89.23 million; year-to-date percentage gain: 141.51 percent; current share price $0.64

Oncolytics is a biotechnology company working on the development of REOLYSIN, an immuno-oncology viral-agent designed to target a variety of tumors. REOLYSIN has been a part of several clinical studies and is currently involved in a Phase 1b trial against relapsing myeloma.

The company shared a substantial update on the path to approval for REOLYSIN against metastatic breast cancer. In September the company successfully completed an end-of-phase 2 meeting with the FDA.

ProMIS Neurosciences (TSX:PMN)

Market cap; 49.12 million; year-to-date percentage gain: 53.12 percent; current share price $0.24

ProMIS is a development stage biotech working on the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and ALS. The company uses their proprietary technologies to identify the diseases it seeks to treat and then specific murine monoclonal antibodies are evaluated in a 3-step process which allows ProMIS to identify the best products to move into clinical development.

The company provided a recent update on their Alzheimer’s disease pipeline. “This increased affinity of PMN310, along with its selective targeting of prion-like forms of AβO, continues to support the development of PMN310 as a potentially impactful treatment for Alzheimer’s disease,” Dr. Neil Cashman, the chief scientific officer said regarding the company’s successful humanization of their PMN310 candidate.

Microbix Biosystems (TSE:MBX)

Market cap; 32.19 million; year-to-date percentage gain: 49.02 percent; current share price $0.38

Microbix is a manufacturer of viral and bacterial antigens and reagents for the global diagnostics industry. The antigens produced by Microbix have been used for research purposes, calibrators for medical devices, as Immunodiagnostic assays and more.

As part of their report for the fiscal third quarter of the year, Microbix announced their year over year sales had seen a growth of 20 percent. “Gross margin for Q3 was 54 percent, an increase of three percent over the same quarter of 2016 and an indicator of ongoing work to optimize product pricing,” the company indicated.

BELLUS Health (TSX:BLU)

Market cap; 28.42 million; year-to-date percentage gain: 46.55 percent; current share price $0.42

BELLUS Health is a biopharmaceutical company with several candidates in various stages of trials, including a partnership for an Alzheimer’s Disease treatment.

Earlier this year in April the company announced it had received clearance for a patent in the US covering the composition of their lead drug candidate BLU-5937.

“These funds extend our runway into 2019 and are allowing us to expedite the development of BLU-5937, as we plan to submit an investigational new drug (IND) application in 2018 and initiate a phase 1 clinical study in the second half of that year,” Roberto Bellini, president and chief executive officer of BELLUS Health said during the company’s second-quarter report release.

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

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.


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

The biotech sector has steadily enjoyed an increase this year, in part thanks to significant advancements and in spite of the uncertainty from the White House as the proposal of a new healthcare bill holds the grip of most life science markets.

A market report from Deloitte on the whole life science sector indicated a projection of $8.7 trillion by the year 2020. All three major biotech exchange-traded funds have seen relative growth this year with the NASDAQ Biotechnology (INDEXNASDAQ:NBI) closing the market on July 11 with a 17.74 percent increase.

As investors look ahead to the remainder of 2017, the Investing News Network (INN) profiles the top five biotech stocks on the Toronto Stock Exchange year-to-date. The companies listed below have market caps of less than $500 million and over $50 million. All figures and numbers are current as of market closing time on July 11, 2017, with data compiled from Google Finance.

Fennec Pharmaceuticals (TSX:FRX)

Market cap: 140.63 million; year-to-date percentage gain: 226.44 percent; current share price: $8.52

Fennec is a biopharmaceutical company with a focus on cancer therapies. The company currently has two product candidates, both in the Phase 3 stage of their respective trials. The company’s priority is the SIOPEL 6 trial, which according to CEO Rosty Raykov will be producing results later this year in October.

Earlier this year the company revealed it completed a private placement option for a total of approximately $7.6 million. These new funds will be allocated for the development of Sodium Thiosulfate (STS). The company also announced it had launched a Named Patient Programme (NPP) for STS.

“Fennec will make STS available for pediatric patients with Standard Risk Hepatoblastoma,” the company said in a statement.

Oncolytics Biotech (TSX:ONC)

Market cap; 67.03 million; year-to-date percentage gain: 111.32 percent; current share price $0.56

Oncolytics is a biotechnology company working on the development of REOLYSIN, an immuno-oncology viral-agent designed to target a variety of tumors. REOLYSIN has been a part of several clinical studies and is currently involved in a Phase 1b trial against relapsing myeloma.

The company received a fast track designation for its lead product in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. “Our goal is to conduct an End-of-Phase 2 meeting with the FDA as soon as is practical and obtain scientific guidance,” Dr. Matt Coffey, president, and CEO of Oncolytics Biotech said in a statement.

Oncolytics reported a net loss of over $3.5 million during the first quarter of 2017.

As part of the financial results, Dr. Coffey said thanks in part to the results Oncolytics had seen with REOLYSIN, it is now planning on “exploiting REOLYSIN’s mechanism of action incorporating both cancer cell lysis and immune system priming and activation.”

BELLUS Health (TSX:BLU)

Market cap; 29.42 million; year-to-date percentage gain: 51.72 percent; current share price $0.44

Bellus is a biopharmaceutical company with several candidates in various stages of trials, including a partnership for an Alzheimer’s Disease treatment.

BLU-5937 is the company’s leading candidate, a chronic cough drug with the “potential to help millions of chronic cough patients who do not respond to current therapies.”

Most recently the company announced it had closed the sale of its equity interest in FB Health for a total of approximately $2.5 million. According to BELLUS CEO Roberto Bellini, the proceeds from this transaction will support the development of BLU-5937.

During the company’s financial report for the first quarter of 2017, it was revealed BELLUS sold its subsidiary Thallion Pharmaceuticals for a consideration of $2.7 million.

ProMIS Neurosciences (TSX:PMN)

Market cap; 48.11 million; year-to-date percentage gain: 46.87 percent; current share price $0.23

ProMIS is a development stage biotech working on the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and ALS. The company uses their proprietary technologies to identify the diseases it seeks to treat and then specific murine monoclonal antibodies are evaluated in a 3-step process which allows ProMIS to identify the best products to move into clinical development.

ProMIS Executive Chairman Eugene Williams said the company is confident their antibody programs could lead to the best in class therapies.

The company is expected to release new preclinical data from its Alzheimer’s disease treatment during the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (July 16-20).

Microbix Biosystems (TSE:MBX)

Market cap; 25.42 million; year-to-date percentage gain: 15.69 percent; current share price $0.29

Microbix is a manufacturer of viral and bacterial antigens and reagents for the global diagnostics industry. The antigens produced by Microbix have been used for research purposes, calibrators for medical devices, as Immunodiagnostic assays and more.

The company reported a 32 percent increase in gross proceeds for the first half of 2017, compared to the previous year. However, the revenue for the second quarter went down three percent to over $2.5 million.

In May the company announced it was consulting with the FDA regarding the plans from Microbix to re-introduce its thrombolytic biologic drug, Kinlytic Urokinase (Kinlytic) to the US market.

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

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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