Biotech Investing

Last week’s top gainer was Contravir Pharmaceuticals, followed by HTG Molecular Diagnostics, Intellipharmaceutics, Northwest Biotherapeutics and AEeterna Zentaris

The NASDAQ Biotechnology index (INDEXNASDAQ:NBI) has had a tough week–with news of lower than expected third quarter earnings from key biotech companies, and Mylan paying out $465 million in settlement. As of Friday, the index was down by 1.93 percent with 2,782.76 points.
Despite that, these five companies recorded gains:

  • Contravir Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CTRV)
  • HTG Molecular Diagnostics (NASDAQ:HTGM)
  • Intellipharmaceutics (NASDAQ:IPCI)
  • Northwest Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ:NWBO)
  • AEterna Zentaris  (NASDAQ:AEZS)

ContraVir Pharmaceuticals

ContraVir is working on the development and commercialization of targeted antiviral therapies against hepatitis B herpes zoster or shingles. Last week, ContraVir reported positive data from its Phase 2a clinical study for CMX157, a highly potent analog of the successful antiviral drug tenofovir that battles Hepatits B.
ContraVir was last week’s top gainer, closing at $1.96 with a gain of 63.33 percent over the five-day trading week.

HTG Molecular Diagnostics

Arizona-based HTG Molecular Diagnostics’ HTG EdgeSeq system enables fast and easy use of instruments for molecular profiling. Last week, the company announced a broad companion diagnostics master agreement with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.
HTG closed at $3.00 per share, gaining 28.76 percent over the five-day trading week.


Intellipharmaceutics is a pharmaceutical company that employs original Hypermatrix™ technology, a robust controlled-release drug delivery platform. Last week, Intellipharmaceutics announced their third quarter results and revenue in the three months ended August 31, 2016 was $0.6 million versus $0.8 million the previous year. They recorded cash on hand of $4.5 million as of October 2016.
As last week’s top gainer, Intellipharmaceutics gained 20.17 percent over the five-day trading period, and finished at $2.86 per share.

Northwest Biotherapeutics

Northwest Biotherapeutics is a clinical stage biotechnology company. They recently presented additional information at the NY Cancer Immunotherapy Conference relating to trials to identify which patients respond best to experimental products.
Northwest Biotherapeutics gained 10.95 percent over the five-day trading period and finished at $0.468 per share.

Aeterna Zentaris

Aeterna Zentaris is engaged in developing and commercializing novel treatments in oncology, endocrinology and women’s health. Last week, the company announced  an exclusive license agreement with Specialised Therapeutics Asia for the Aeterna’s lead investigational anti-cancer compound, Zoptrex™.
Aeterna Zentaris gained 10.32 percent over the five-day trading period and ended the week at $3.74 per share.

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, Emma Harwood, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.


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