4 Top Pharma Stocks on the TSX Year-to-Date

- July 2nd, 2018

As investors look ahead to the remainder of 2018, we’ve put together a list of the top-gaining pharmaceutical stocks on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

This year is proving to continue the pharmaceutical industry upswing from 2017 after the downfall in 2016.

A market report from Deloitte on the life science sector as a whole projects the overall industry will reach US$8.7 trillion by the year 2020. Investopedia wrote that despite the inherent risk of pharmaceutical investment, “stable cash flows, solid balance sheets, and pricing power” offset the risk, making this sector a defensive one that is relatively immune to the economic cycle.

Nearly halfway through 2018 and officially closing in on the end of Q2, here the Investing News Network (INN) profiles the top pharma stocks on the TSX year-to-date. The companies listed below have market caps of less than $700 million. All figures and numbers are current as of 10:30 a.m. on June, 29 2018 with data compiled from Google Finance and quoted in Canadian dollars, unless otherwise noted.

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1. Correvio Pharma (TSX:CORV)

Market cap: $101.03 million; year-to-date percentage gain: 167.54 percent; current share price: $4.79

First on our top pharma stocks TSX year-to-date list is Correvio, previously named Cardiome. This company works on the development and commercialization of cardiovascular therapies. Some of Correvio’s approved products include Aggrastat, Exembol, Brinavess among others.

The company released in June a regulatory update for Brinavess regarding its new drug application with the FDA. The company will be allowed to resubmit the application and it will schedule a pre-NDA meeting with the FDA sometime in Q4 2018. The drug is already approved for rapid conversion of recent onset atrial fibrillation to sinus rhythm in Europe, Canada and several other countries, worldwide.

In May, Correvio announced enrolling its first patient in the Phase 2 study evaluating Brinavess in China with its partner Eddingpharm. The trial is for recent onset atrial fibrillation (AF), approximately 240 patients are expected to be enrolled at about 30 clinical trial sites in the country.

2. Zymeworks (TSX:ZYME)

Market cap: $610.58 million; year-to-date percentage gain: 103.89 percent; current share price: $19.19

Second on the list is biopharmaceutical company Zymeworks. It has a focus on developing multifunctional therapeutics, such as the ZW49 product candidate, which may have indications for breast, gastric, and other HER2-expressing cancers.

In June, Zymeworks announced a new public offering, for aggregate gross proceeds of the company expects about US$85.5 million with 5.4 million shares priced at US$15.75 each. The company intends to use the proceeds to develop ZW25 as a single agent in combination with other anti-cancer agents in a variety of HER2-expressing tumors. Zymeworks also plans to initiate ZW49 clinical testing and to advance other novel bispecific preclinical programs.

Earlier in Q2, Zymeworks announced it had expanded its immuno-oncology collaboration with Daiichi Sankyo (TSE:4568), focused on bispecific antibodies. This was building on both companies’ initial 2016 cross-licensing and collaboration agreement.

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3. Bellus Health (TSX:BLU)

Market cap: $63.33 million; year-to-date percentage gain: 48.65 percent; current share price: $0.53

Next on our top pharma stocks TSX year-to-date is Bellus Health, a biopharmaceutical development company working on therapeutics for conditions with a high unmet need. In its pipeline the company is working on BLU-5937 which is a selective P2X3 antagonist as a treatment for chronic cough patients who don’t respond to current therapies.

In the end of June, Bellus presented BLU-5937 preclinical data and updated Phase 1 timeline at the 2018 International Cough Symposium in London, UK. “Our preclinical studies demonstrate that BLU-5937 selectively targets the receptors that have been shown to play a major role in the cough reflex,” Dr. Denis Garceau, senior vice president of BELLUS Health said in the press release. The company is ready to start its first in-human study for the candidate in the coming weeks of Q3 2018.

Earlier in the quarter, the company released its Q1 financial results which showed an increase in research and development expenses, nearly $1 million more than the same quarter the previous year.

4. Fennec Pharmaceuticals (TSX:FRX)

Market cap: $250.81 million; year-to-date percentage gain: 8.73 percent; current share price: $13.50

Last on our top pharma stock TSX list is Fennec, which is developing pharmaceuticals focused on the development of sodium thiosulfate (STS) for preventing cisplatin-related ototoxicities in pediatric patients. The ototoxicities are caused in patients from platinum-based therapies, and Fennec is developing drug candidates such as Pedmark, an STS to combat the problem.

In the company’s Q1 financial results Fennec indicated it increased many expenses over the same quarter the previous year, including R&D, general and administrative, and loss from operations. These extra expenses were primarily due to manufacturing and regulatory expenses for the regulatory approval and planned commercialization of Penmark.

Soon after receiving fast track designation from the FDA for Pedmark in March, Fennec also received breakthrough therapy designation later that month. The additional designation adds more intensive FDA guidance on the efficient drug development program.

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.**

3 Top Pharma Stocks on the TSX Year-to-Date

April 2, 2018

Since the beginning of 2017, it’s been proven that the pharmaceutical industry is on an upward swing following a dismal 2016.

A market report from Deloitte on the life science sector as a whole projects the overall industry will reach $8.7 trillion by the year 2020. Investopedia wrote that despite the inherent risk of pharmaceutical investment, “stable cash flows, solid balance sheets, and pricing power” offset the risk,making this sector a defensive one that is relatively immune to the economic cycle.

With Q1 2018 coming to a close, here the Investing News Network profiles the top pharma stocks on the TSX year-to-date. The companies listed below have market caps of less than $500 million. All figures and numbers are current as of market close on March, 29 2018 with data compiled from Google Finance.

Are You Aware of the FDA's Plans for 2018?

Find out what's going on in our new report
 

1. Zymeworks (TSX:ZYME)

Market cap: $394.90 million; year-to-date percentage gain: 54.12percent; current share price: $15.51

Top on the list is the biopharmaceutical company, Zymeworks. It has a focus on developing multifunctional therapeutics, such as ZW49 product candidate which may have indications for breast, gastric, and other HER2-expressing cancers.

Revenue for the company increased to $51.8 million in 2017 from $11 million in 2016. The big increase was primarily from a upfront fee received from Janssen under a license agreement to develop six bispecific antibodies, which may be worth up to $1.45 billion if successfully completed. Ali Tehrani, Zymeworks’ President and CEO, in the press release said, “We continued to generate promising clinical results for ZW25, added a sixth global pharmaceutical partner, and saw important progress in our partners’ programs as they advanced compounds utilizing our technology towards the clinic.”

Zymeworks intends to file an Investigational New Drug application this year to begin clinical trials with ZW49 for patients with HER2-expressing cancers.

2. Cardiome Pharma (TSX:COM)

Market cap: $105.30 million; year-to-date percentage gain: 53.53 percent; current share price: $3.04

Cardiome isa pharmaceutical company engaged in the development and commercialization of cardiovascular therapies for heart disease. For approved products, Cardiome has Xydalba to treat acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections, Brinavess for fast conversion of recent onset atrial fibrillation to sinus rhythm and more.

Though Cardiome had a small decrease in revenue last year from $25.3 million to $24 million in 2016. In March the company had positive news from Health Canada granting Xydalba priority review for it’s new drug application. There is also a proposed transaction between Cardiome and Cipher to close the transaction Cipher would sublicense the commercial rights to Xydalba as part of the Canadian business for acquisition.

“This decision underscores the significant medical need that exists for Canadians suffering from acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI),” said Kiran Bhirangi, VP of medical affairs and clinical development in the press release. “We believe that Xydalba offers medical professionals an effective, yet flexible, dosing option that allows them to manage hospital administered antibiotic therapy for these serious infections.

3. Fennec Pharmaceuticals (TSX:FRX)

Market cap: $285.54 million; year-to-date percentage gain: 18.9percent; current share price: $15.28

Fennec is developing pharmaceuticals focused on the development of sodium thiosulfate (STS) for preventing cisplatin-related ototoxicities in pediatric patients. The ototoxicities are caused in patients from platinum-based therapies, and Fennec is developing drug candidates such as Pedmark, an STS to combat the problem.

In March, the company received fast track designation for Pedmark because there are no drug approved in the US for the ototoxicities conditions.

“We believe the receipt of Fast Track designation from the FDA highlights the serious nature of hearing loss that patients have following cisplatin chemotherapy and the current lack of safe and effective treatments,” said Rosty Raykov, President and CEO of Fennec. “We look forward to the more frequent interactions with the Agency that the Fast Track designation provides, as we prepare for the NDA filing.”

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.

Are You Aware of the FDA's Plans for 2018?

Find out what's going on in our new report
 

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