Biotech Investing

Sarepta Therapeutics. Echo Therapeutics, Heska Corp, and Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals were also the week’s top gainers.

Having slipped from 3,000 points two weeks ago, the NASDAQ Biotechnology index (INDEXNASDAQ:NBI) fell even further last week slipping another 4.7 percent. On Friday the biotech index closed 1.34 percent lower, ending the week at 2,673.64. 
Looking at the week’s gainers, companies weren’t quite able to break much higher than 30 percent in gains for the week. Included among last week’s top performers were:

  • Sophiris Bio (NASDAQ:SPHS)
  • Sarepta Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SRPT)
  • Echo Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ECTE)
  • Heska Corp (NASDAQ:HSKA)
  • Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CYCCP)

Here is a look at how the companies performed this week.

Sophiris Bio

Last week’s top gainer in the biotech space was Sophiris Bio, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company targeting benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The company has developed PRX302 which is in Phase 3 clinical trials. According to the company, PRX302 is designed to be as efficacious as pharmaceuticals, less invasive than surgical interventions and without the sexual side effects seen with existing treatments. Last week the company announced that it would be presenting positive data from its Phase 3 study of topsalysin as a treatment for the symptoms of BPH at the upcoming American Urological Association annual meeting. On Friday, Sophiris also announced its intentions to raise $5 million at a price of $1.40 per share.
As the week’s top gainer, Sophiris gained 30.83 percent over the five-day trading period. Looking at a broader picture of the company’s performance, Sophiris is down 11.80 percent year to date.

Sarepta Therapeutics

Looking at rare and infectious diseases with tremendous unmet medical needs, Sarepta Therapeutics is working on addressing this spot in the market through unlocking the potential of RNA-based technologies. The company announced its first quarter results on May 5, reporting that it posted a non-GAAP net loss of $52.5 million compared to $47.4 million for the same period last year. On a GAAP basis, the company also posted a net loss for Q1 of $59.8 million, slightly lower than the same period of 2015.
Still, the company gained 24.74 for the week, closing on Friday at $17.10, beating its 50-day moving average.

Echo Therapeutics

Developing a non-invasive, wireless, continuous glucose monitoring system, Echo Therapeutics is third on last week’s top gainers list. With the wearable technologies space gaining in popularity, Echo has significant opportunity with its decide for use in outpatient diabetes market as well as the fitness and weight loss. Last week, the company announced its progress in regards to key development milestones. The company has made important advancements within its NextGen sensor element, hydrogel and other key components of its highly disruptive technology.
Echo Therapeutics has been performing quite well so far in 2016 with a 9.15 percent increase year to date. Over the last trading week the company made gains of 22 percent, closing Friday’s trading session at $1.55.

Heska Corp

Unlike the other companies on this list, Heska’s focus is not on humans, it is on pet care. The company provides a range of blood diagnostic solutions, immunodiagnostics, heart worm and other blood testing to pet healthcare providers. The company announced its Q1 results, which came in above expectations. Revenue for the first quarter was up 19 percent to $27.1 million, while its gross profit was up 13 percent to $11.4 million.
Heska gained 14.74 percent last week. The company ended Friday at $35.11, a slight dip on the week’s performance.

Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals

Rounding off the top gainers for the week in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector was Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical firm developing oral therapies to target various phrases of cell cycle control for the treatment of cancer and other serious disease. The company didn’t have any material news last week, however it did announce the date for its Q1 financial results. Investors can listen to the conference call on May 11, 2016.
Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals gained 14.49 percent last week.

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.
Related reading: 
5 Top NASDAQ Biotech Stocks: Eleven Biotherapeutics Soars 159 Percent
5 Top NASDAQ Biotech Stocks: Medical Device Companies Lead the Charge

5 Top NASDAQ Biotech Stocks: 5 Companies Gain over 30 Percent Last Week

5 Top NASDAQ Biotech Stocks: Alexza Pharmaceuticals, Vericel Corporation up Nearly 40 Percent




S&P 5004057.840.00


Heating Oil3.84-0.01
Natural Gas8.41-0.49