Top 5 NASDAQ Pharma Stocks of 2022

Pharmaceutical Investing
stethoscope and pen on a medical chart

2022 is at an end, which means it’s time to reflect on the top-performing NASDAQ pharma stocks year-to-date.

Click here to read the previous top NASDAQ pharma stocks article.

2022 wasn’t without challenges for the pharmaceutical market, which, like other sectors, is bound to face lasting impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. That being said, the industry's major underlying drivers — such as the increasing prevalence of cancer and chronic diseases — will no doubt continue to propel innovation and growth.

The US reigns supreme in the pharma market, both in terms of drug demand and development. As of December 6, 2022, 31 novel medicines had been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the year. Big Pharma largely stole the show throughout the course of the year, but a number of small- and mid-cap NASDAQ pharma stocks also made waves in 2022.

Below the Investing News Network profiles 2022’s five top NASDAQ pharma stocks by share price performance. Data was compiled on December 6, 2022, using TradingView’s stock screener, and all companies listed had market caps between US$50 million and US$500 million at that time. Read on to learn more about their activities this past year.

1. AVEO Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AVEO)

Market cap: US$518 million; year-to-date gain: 211.92 percent; current share price: US$14.90

Commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company AVEO Pharmaceuticals is advancing a broad portfolio of targeted therapeutics for oncology and other areas of unmet medical need. In the US, the company markets Fotivda (tivozanib), which it describes as an oral next-generation vascular endothelial growth factor receptor and tyrosine kinase inhibitor.

This NASDAQ pharmaceutical stock spiked to its highest point in 2022 on November 30, hitting US$14.95. AVEO is set to be acquired by LG Chem (KRX:051910), a Korean chemical company, in early 2023.

2. Merrimack Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:MACK)

Market cap: US$158.77 million; year-to-date gain: 195.14 percent: current share price: US$11.84

Next on this list of the top NASDAQ pharmaceutical stocks is Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, which is focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel therapeutics paired with diagnostics to treat cancer. Merrimack is entitled to receive contingent milestone payments related to its sale of Onivyde to Ipsen (EPA:IPN).

In early November, the company announced that Ipsen's use of Onivyde in a Phase 3 NAPOLI 3 trial, along with 5 fluorouracil/leucovorin and oxaliplatin, demonstrated statistically significant improvement in overall survival in previously untreated metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Merrimack's share price reached a high of US$13.66 on November 9, 2022.

3. Fennec Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:FENC)

Market cap: US$252.94 million; year-to-date gain: 117.46 percent: current share price: US$9.72

Clinical-stage firm Fennec Pharmaceuticals is developing sodium thiosulfate, a chemo-protectant against hearing loss associated with platinum-based chemotherapy. The company's lead candidate is Pedmark, a treatment for pediatric cancer patients who are experiencing hearing loss as a result of platinum-based chemotherapy.

In September 2022, the FDA approved Pedmark, making it the first and only FDA-approved therapy indicated to reduce the risk of ototoxicity associated with cisplatin in pediatric patients with localized, non-metastatic tumors. The company then initiated the US commercial launch of Pedmark in October 2022.

This NASDAQ pharmaceutical stock spiked to its highest point in 2022 on November 30, hitting US$10.06.

4. Astria Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ATXS)

Market cap: US$175.97 million; year-to-date gain: 91.18 percent; current share price: US$10.02

Astria Therapeutics is developing therapies for rare and niche allergic and immunological diseases. Its lead program, STAR-0215, is a monoclonal antibody inhibitor of plasma kallikrein in preclinical development for the treatment of hereditary angioedema.

Astria's share price reached a high of US$12.85 on June 13, 2022. Preliminary results from the company's Phase 1a clinical trial of STAR-0215 in healthy subjects are expected by year-end 2022.

5. Nuvectis Pharma (NASDAQ:NVCT)

Year-to-date gain: 87.59 percent; market cap: US$110.09 million; current share price: US$7.52

Nuvectis Pharma is developing precision medicines for the treatment of cancer. The firm's pipeline of products includes NXP800, an oral small-molecule HSF1-pathway inhibitor, and NXP900, an oral small-molecule SRC/YES1 kinase inhibitor.

The company recently announced that the FDA has granted fast-track designation to NXP800 for the treatment of platinum-resistant, ARID1A-mutated ovarian carcinoma. Nuvectis' share price hit its highest point in 2022 on May 18, reaching US$20.92.

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

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