Biotech Investing

The top gainer was Cardica. Coming in second place was Sophiris Bio, followed by Juniper Pharmaceuticals, BioLife Solutions and finally Sequemom.

Last week, the NASDAQ 100 index (INDEXNASDAQ:NDX) rose 117.17 points, or 2.83 percent, to end the week at 4,259.77 points.
Stocks rallied on Friday, urged on by dovish comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi. Positive economic data — more specifically, a 14.7-percent jump in existing home sales — led to a record seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.6 million, which beat expectations.
Alongside the index, several biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies posted gains. The top gainer was Cardica (NASDAQ:CRDC). Coming in second place was Sophiris Bio (NASDAQ:SPHS), and it was followed by Juniper Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:JNP), BioLife Solutions (NASDAQ:BLFS) and finally Sequenom (NASDAQ:SQNM).


Cardica, a designer and manufacturer of stapling and anastomotic devices for cardiac and laproscopic surgical procedures, saw a good bump in its share price last week. It gained 47.35 percent to close at $0.30.

The company announced last week that its MicroCutter XCHANGE® 30 surgical stapler, which has a 5-millimeter shaft diameter and can articulate 80 degrees, is going to be featured in a presentation at the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and American Association for Thoracic Surgery’s Tech Conference. The MicroCutter XCHANGE® 30 is a cartrige-based surgial stapling device used in a variety of gastrointestinal procedures and appendectomies.
Also lending the company some ethos was a recent target price update by Zacks.

Sophiris Bio

Clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Sophiris Bio saw a 40.12-percent increase in share price last week, capping off the period at $2.34. The company is focused on the development of innovative products for the treatment of urological diseases.
Sophiris announced financial results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2015 last week, also reporting on recent company highlights. Among other things, Sophiris said that it will be announcing the initial findings of a Phase 2a trial for the proof of concept for its flagship candidate drug, PRX302. states that the company’s Phase 2a trial included a total of 17 patients with localized, clinically significant low- to intermediate-risk prostate cancer.

Juniper Pharmaceuticals

Working on the development of therapies for the treatment of unmet medical needs in women’s health, Juniper is aiming to leverage the 505(b)(2) regulatory pathway with new formulations of existing pharmaceutics. The company saw its share price increase 35.61 percent over the course of last week, ending Friday trade at $7.54.

Over the course of the last two weeks, the company has announced an expansion to its lead Phase 2b trial, and submitted a pre-IND meeting request for its first intra-vaginal ring product. Last week, the company announced that two prominent physicians, Linda Giudice MD, PhD and Marianne Mann MD, have joined its scientific advisory board.

BioLife Solutions

Ending the week with a 26.75-percent gain, BioLife Solutions closed at $1.99 on Friday. The company manufactures and markets proprietary clinical-grade cell and tissue hypothermic storage and cryopreservation freeze media. BioLife Solutions also contracts research and development and provides biopreservation protocol.
Earlier in January, the company announced 2015 biopreservation media revenue growth of $6.5 million, including a 30-percent increase in core biopreservation media revenue from the previous year.


Sequenom is committed to enabling healthier lives through the development of innovative products and services. Sequenom Laboratories, a CAP-accredited and CLIA-certified molecular diagnostic laboratory, has developed a wide range of laboratory tests that are mainly focused on prenatal care. The company’s molecular genetic laboratory-developed tests are able to provide early patient management information for obstetricians, geneticists and maternal fetal medicine specialists.
The company ended last week with a 26.23-percent increase in its share price, closing on Friday at $1.54.

Data for 5 Top NASDAQ Stocks articles is retrieved each Friday after market close using The Globe and Mail’s market data filter. Only companies with a market capitalization greater than $10 million prior to the week’s gains are included. Companies within the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors are considered.
Securities Disclosure: I, Vivien Diniz, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.


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