5 Top NASDAQ Genetic Stocks of Q2 2018

- June 28th, 2018

In the final days of Q2 2018, we’ve profiled the five top NASDAQ genetic stocks year-to-date. Here’s a look at what they’ve been up to.

Whether it’s stem cell development as a treatment for type 1 diabetes or devices to preserve cells and tissue for regenerative use, the genetics industry continues to expand the potential of genetics—and how they can be manipulated.

Notably early on in 2018 for NASDAQ genetics stocks, investors and industry professionals alike shared excitement when AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) and Merck’s (NYSE:MRK) Lynparza represented a breakthrough approval with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—making it the the first gene-specific therapy.

The excitement continued when Myriad’s (NASDAQ:MYGN) supplementary premarket approval (sPMA) application for BRACAnalysis CDx was accepted by the FDA. Myriad’s drug will be used as a companion diagnostic with Pfizer’s (NYSE:PFE) PARP (poly ADP ribose polymerase) inhibitor, talazoparib—meaning this could be a big gain for both companies.

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As big pharma and biotech companies prove it’s possible to dabble in the genetic industry along other core disciplines, there’s an opportunity for companies of every market capitalization size in this industry.

With Q2 2018 nearing its end, here the Investing News Network (INN) profiles the five top genetics stocks on the NASDAQ year-to-date. Through data collected by the Globe & Mail’s market filter report, these companies have a market capitalization between $500 and $50 million. All information is current as of June 28, 2018 at market close and quoted in US dollars.

1. BioLife Solutions (NASDAQ:BLFS)

Market cap: $181.13 million; year-to-date gain: 93 percent; current share price: $11.41

BioLife is first on our top NASDAQ genetic stocks list. This company is responsible for pioneering next generation cellular matter and tissues preservation solutions for freezing, transportation and storage. These products, in turn, aid the regenerative medicine, biobanking and drug discovery markets.

Investors showed interest BioLife’s Q1 2018 financial results, which had a 61 percent increase from the same quarter the previous year the company reached a new record of $3.8 million for media product sales. The amount was a 22 percent increase from the previous quarter, Q4 2017.

In March, the company was awarded a second patent from United States Patent and Trademark Office for its Next Generation Cold Chain Technologies Designed for Cell and Gene Therapies. The company has 12 additional pending patents submitted for other products and applications.

2. Caladrius Biosciences (NASDAQ:CLBS)

Market cap: $63.67 million; year-to-date gain: 91.17 percent; current share price: $6.47

Second on the top NASDAQ genetic stocks year-to-date list is Caladrius. This clinical stage company has multiple technology platforms targeting cardiovascular indications and autoimmune diseases. One of which, CLBS03, is an ex vivo expanded polyclonal T regulatory cell therapy to treat recent-onset type 1 diabetes in a Phase 2 trial.

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Caladrius is finishing off the quarter with multiple positive news releases: The first one being Caladrius’s CD34+ Cell Therapy for Treating Refractory Angina, which was given FDA Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy Designation. This designation allows regenerative therapies the advantage of expedited development and review of marketing applications, similar to what is available to drugs with breakthrough therapy designation.

Then, near the end of June, the company sold the rights and its ownership interest, in a development-stage, fully enclosed, automated, programmable counter-flow centrifugation system for $2.5 million to Hitachi Chemical Advanced Therapeutics. This sale allows the company to better focus on its therapeutic product development of which the funds will support key strategic interests.

3. Vericel (NASDAQ:VCEL)

Market cap: $429.54 million; year-to-date gain: 80.73 percent; current share price: $9.85

Vericel, a company focused on developing expanded cellular therapies for severe disease and conditions, is middle of our top NASDAQ genetics stocks list year-to-date. The company has two autologous cell therapy products marketed in the US, Carticel and Epicel.

Close to the end of Q2, Vericel offered and closed a $74.8 million public offering including 750,000 shares at $13.00 per share. The company anticipates using the proceeds to expand its business by in-licensing or acquiring product candidates, technologies, other assets, commercial products or businesses to compliment Vericel’s existing commercial franchise.

Earlier in the quarter the company reported a nearly doubled net revenue of $18 million compared to $9.4 million in the same quarter of the previous year, as per Vericel’s Q1 financial results. The Q1 2017 net revenue increase included a $2.8 million revenue reserve from Carticel and MACI related to a contractual dispute.

4. HTG Molecular Diagnostics (NASDAQ:HTGM)

Market cap: $98.63 million; year-to-date gain: 55.67 percent; current share price: $3.25

The next top NASDAQ genetics stock year-to-date is HTG, a company which is focused on next generation sequencing based molecular profiling. The company’s proprietary HTG EdgeSeq technology automates complex, highly multiplexed molecular profiling from solid and liquid samples.

In May, HTG released its Q1 financial results with a 203 percent increase in revenue to $4.15 million in Q1 over the same quarter in 2017–which is key driver to the company’s BioPharma development programs and continual growth of its RUO profiling services.

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Other big news from Q2 includes HTG’s non-exclusive license and supply agreement with private company Firalis. The agreement enables Firalis to commercialize a next-generation sequencing-based theranostic product and services to predict rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients response to anti‑TNFα therapy, and other research products and services for mRNA profiling of inflammatory‑autoimmune disorders.

5. Adverum Biotechnologies (NASDAQ:ADVM)

Market cap: $376.34 million; year-to-date gain: 54.29 percent; current share price: $5.35

Last on our top NASDAQ genetics stocks list year-to-date is Adverum. This gene therapy company is focused on rare and critical ocular diseases. Its pipeline includes candidates to address alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, wet age-related macular degeneration and other rare diseases.

Adverum presented long-term preclinical data on ADVM-022 in wet age-related macular degeneration (wAMD) in a poster session at the ASGCT 21st Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL. “Based on the results from these studies and our ongoing Investigational New Drug-enabling studies, we are on track to submit an IND Application for ADVM-022 in the second half of 2018,” Mehdi Gasmi, chief science and technology officer at Adverum said in the press release.

In early May, the company also published its Q1 financial results showing it more than doubled its cash and cash equivalents from $70.51 million in Q4 2017 to $152.71 million in Q1 2018.

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

Securities Disclosure: I, Gabrielle Lakusta, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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**This article is updated quarterly. Scroll to the top for the most recent information**

5 Top NASDAQ Genetic Stocks Year-to-Date

Published April 5, 2018

The genetics market may sound more promising as opposed to biotech and pharma–with dreams of personalized medicine to solve every ailment based on patient genomes makeup–but the market still has a long way to go.

Early in the year, AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) and Merck’s (NYSE:MRK) Lynparza represented a breakthrough approval with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as the first gene-specific therapy. As companies break off to develop genetic mutation treatments like these two companies, investors realize although the potential for a high-return is evident, the risk and time-length is still on point with pharmaceutical companies.

That said, its not to take away of the impact the drugs can make on the market. For example different treatments for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)—a branch of the world’s most diagnosed cancer type, lung cancer—are being tested in clinical trials by more than a handful of big pharma companies, including Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY), and Chi-Med (NASDAQ:HCM). Because there are so many different genetic mutations related to NSCLC there isn’t as much competition as expected for the companies and the respective treatments.

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This opens up a whole range of opportunities for micro and large market capitalization companies alike to develop the personalized medicine for unique combinations, and often multiple indications.

With Q1 2018 officially behind us, here the Investing News Network (INN) profiles the five top genetics stocks on the NASDAQ year-to-date. Through data collected by the Globe & Mail’s market filter report, these companies have a market capitalization between $500 and $50 million. All information is current as of April 5, 2018 at market close.

1. Vericel (NASDAQ:VCEL)

Market cap: $333.84 million; year-to-date gain: 102.75 percent; current share price: $11.05

On top of our NASDAQ genetic stocks list is Vericel which specializes in sports medicine and the severe burn care market through cell therapies.

Early in the year Vericel announced a collaboration with Innovative Cellular Therapeutics to develop and distribute Vericel’s MACI, Epicel, Carticel and more in greater China, South Korea and other countries in the region. Vericel received $5.1 million as an upfront and warrant payment.

“We are very pleased to begin our strategic collaboration and initiate technology transfer activities with ICT,” said Gerard Michel, CFO of Vericel. “We anticipate that this funding, together with our recently expanded $25 million debt facilities with Silicon Valley Bank and MidCap Financial, will allow the Company to reach profitability without raising additional capital.”

In its 2017 financial report, the company’s net revenue increased 18 percent from $54.38 million to $63.92, mainly driven from Carticel and MACI revenue. Both are knee cartilage repair products.

2. Compugen (NASDAQ:CGEN)

Market cap: $230.81 million; year-to-date gain: 80 percent; current share price: $4.50

Second on the 5 top genetic stocks on the NASDAQ year-to-date is Compugen. As a therapeutics discovery and development company, Compugen uses a discovery infrastructure to identify and develop first-in-class cancer immunotherapy in the therapeutics.

In April 2018, Compugen announced a licensing agreement with AstraZeneca’s MedImmune to develop immuno-oncology antibody products. Compugen will receive a $10 million upfront payment for the deal and is eligible to receive a further $200 million in development and royalties based on sales.

“This licensing deal allows us to monetize specific scientific advances in our programs, while we continue to advance our lead programs into clinical trials,” Anat Cohen-Dayag, president and CEO of Compugen said.

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3. Arqule (NASDAQ:ARQL)

Market cap: $264.84 million; year-to-date gain: 78.79 percent; current share price: $2.95

With five drug candidates in its pipeline Arqule focuses on targeted biomarker-defined patient populations through precision medicine.

Early in February the company made a positive announcement to enter a license agreement with Roivant Sciences to collaborate with developing derazantinib in greater China. The drug candidate is a fibroblast growth factor receptor is in another trial in the US and Europe as a potential treatment for intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (iCCA), a form of biliary tract cancer.

Investors interested in the company can look forward to the company presenting data from multiple Phase 1 trials later in the year and news of the the derazantinib iCCA trial as the company anticipates completing dosing.

4. Adverum Biotechnologies (NASDAQ:ADVM)

Market cap: $348.06 million; year-to-date gain: 65.71 percent; current share price: $5.80

Adverum is a gene therapy company focused on rare and critical ocular diseases. The company’s pipeline includes candidates to address alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, wet age-related macular degeneration and other rare diseases.

The company extended a collaboration early in the year with Editas Medicine (NASDAQ:EDIT) to continue exploring the delivery of genome editing medicine to potential treat up to five inherited retinal diseases.

Adverum also gave a 2018 in its 2017 financial results which includes submitting two investigational drug application to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and reporting preliminary data from a Phase 1 trial, all expected in the second half of 2018.

5. Aevi Genomic Medicine (NASDAQ:GNMX)

Market cap: $108.58 million; year-to-date gain: 52.50 percent; current share price: $1.83

Last on our top NASDAQ genetic stocks list is Aevi, a company that builds therapies through genetic discoveries for patients with pediatric onset life altering diseases.

The percentage gains for the company’s stock so far this year may have been triggered by some of Aevi’s news in March. The company first announced an expanded a collaboration with Kyowa Hakko Kirin, with an option to start an early stage monoclonal antibody program for an ultra-orphan pediatric indication.

Other news was Aevi’s 2017 financial report, which highlighted the company’s research and development decreased to $25.18 million from $28.36 million in 2016.

“We continue to advance our pipeline and are pleased to have broadened our relationships with both CHOP and KHK, providing us with the resources to identify new targets and develop potential therapies,” said Mike Cola, Aevi’s CEO. “We remain committed to our goals of delivering clinical results in our lead programs in ADHD and Crohn’s Disease in 2018.”

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

Securities Disclosure: I, Gabrielle Lakusta, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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