Which biotech and pharma stocks were on the rise last week? We list the top gainers and what may have moved their share prices.

The NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (INDEXNASDAQ:NBI) rose last week from 3,267.22 points on Monday’s (September 16) open to 3,319.26 points as of 12:37 p.m. EDT on Friday (September 20).

On Monday, Alder BioPharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALDR) announced that it is going to be acquired by Denmark-based Lundbeck (OTC Pink:HLUYY) in a deal valued at US$2 billion.

Shares of Alder BioPharmaceuticals rose by nearly 84 percent that day from its previous close. By Friday at 1:02 p.m. EDT, shares of the company were trading at US$18.65.

In the small- to mid-cap space, the five top gainers last week were as follows:

  • Lexicon Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LXRX)
  • Aravive (NASDAQ:ARAV)
  • Aclaris Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ACRS)
  • IDEAYA Biosciences (NASDAQ:IDYA)
  • Cocrystal Pharma (NASDAQ:COCP)

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

Lexicon Pharmaceuticals

Lexicon Pharmaceuticals’ area of focus is developing precise medicines for serious chronic conditions.

The company has several products in its pipeline: Xermelo, which is being marketed for carcinoid syndrome diarrhea; telotristat ethyl for biliary tract cancer; zynquista, which has approval in the European Union for type 1 diabetes; sotagliflozin, which is being developed for type 1 and type 2 diabetes; LX2761, which is also being developed for diabetes; and LX9211, which is being developed for neuropathic pain.

While the company had no announcements last week, its share price rose 56.2 percent to reach US$3.63 as of 1:44 p.m. EDT on Friday.


Aravive, a biopharmaceutical company, develops products to stop life-threatening diseases from progressing, including cancer and fibrosis.

In its pipeline is its lead drug candidate, AVB-500, which aims to slow down disease progression. The company also has in its pipeline AVB-500, which is being evaluated for platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. The company intends to expand research and development efforts of this drug into other indications for oncology and fibrosis.

On Wednesday (September 18), the company announced that it will give a presentation about its Phase 1b/2 study of AVB500 at the European Society for Medical Oncology Congress in Barcelona.

Shares of the company rose 41.18 percent last week to reach US$8.10 as of 2:00 p.m. EDT on Friday.

Aclaris Therapeutics

Aclaris Therapeutics is developing products for patients with immuno-inflammatory and dermatological diseases with high unmet medical needs.

The company has a wide range of products in its portfolio, including two treatments approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and a product in late-stage investigational development.

On Monday, Aclaris Therapeutics announced positive results from its Phase 3 clinical trial of A-101, an investigational new drug to treat warts. Should the drug be approved, it will be the first FDA-approved treatment for warts.

Throughout the five day trading period, shares of the company rose 38.82 percent to settle at US$1.42 as of 1:51 p.m. EDT on Friday.

Ideaya Biosciences

An oncology-focused precision medicine company, Ideaya Biosciences is developing products using molecular diagnostics. The company’s most advanced product is IDE196, for which it has an exclusive license with Novartis (NYSE:NVS) to conduct a Phase 2 clinical trial for a rare cancer of the eye.

Ideaya plans to conduct its own Phase 1/2 trial of the drug in patients with metastatic solid tumors.

Shares of the company rose 29.08 percent last week to US$9.45 as of 2:08 p.m. EDT on Friday. Despite the share price increase, Ideaya provided no news that could relate to its share price movement.

Cocrystal Pharma

Closing out the list is Cocrystal Pharma, a company developing therapeutics that target chronic viral diseases such as hepatitis C, influenza and norovirus.

In its product pipeline is CC-31244, which is currently being evaluated in a Phase 2b study for hepatitis C. Cocrystal’s other treatment, CC-42344, is a treatment for influenza A, which is being evaluated in a preclinical investigational new drug study.

Throughout the course of the five day trading period, shares of Cocrystal Pharma rose 27.22 percent to reach US$2.12 as of 2:06 p.m. EDT on Friday. The company had no major announcements that would explain its share price hike.

Data for 5 Top NASDAQ Biotech and Pharma Stocks articles is retrieved each Friday at 1:00 p.m. EDT using TradingView’stock screener. Only companies with a market capitalization greater than US$50 million and lower than US$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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