Biotech

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Which biotech stocks on the CSE, TSXV and TSX have performed the best so far in 2021? Here’s a look at the five top Canadian biotech stocks.

Click here to read the latest top Canadian biotech stocks article.

Although it’s not as large as the US biotech industry, the Canadian biotech market is still making a name for itself on the global investment stage in terms of size and opportunities.

In recent years, the biotech sector worldwide has become a “real industry” that brought “spectacular” returns for mid-cap companies in 2020, according to Jessica Chutter, managing director and chairman of biotechnology investment banking with Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS).

Much of the growth in biotech is attributable to technology advancements in drug research and development, said Chutter, who was speaking at a virtual event hosted by the Globe and Mail.


Also speaking during the event, Brian Bloom, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Toronto-based investment firm Bloom Burton & Co., said Canada accounts for approximately 3 percent of the biotech sector’s global market capitalization. Bloom noted that Canadian biotech companies raised an impressive US$3.2 billion in financing for 2020. That’s out of more than US$110 billion globally.

Unsurprisingly, many top Canadian biotech stocks have performed well against that backdrop, and have continued that solid performance into 2021 — in fact, analysts expect this year to be another period of stellar growth for the biotech industry, including in Canada.

Below the Investing News Network profiles five top Canadian biotech stocks on the CSE, TSX and TSXV. Yearly performance and share price data for the companies was compiled on October 5, 2021, using TradingView’s stock screener. All top Canadian biotech stocks listed had market caps between C$10 million and C$500 million at that time.

1. Rapid Dose Therapeutics (CSE:DOSE)

Current share price: C$0.64; year-to-date gain: 103.17 percent

First on this list of top Canadian biotech stocks is Rapid Dose Therapeutics. It is developing drug-delivery technology and its flagship product is QuickStrip, a thin, orally dissolvable film that can be infused with active ingredients such as nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, vaccines and cannabis. It allows these ingredients to be delivered quickly into the bloodstream, resulting in rapid onset of the active ingredient.

Rapid Dose and McMaster University recently reported preliminary results from an investigation of an orally delivered vaccine candidate for COVID-19. The company has also received its Health Canada cannabis sales license. Shares reached a year-to-date high of C$0.66 on September 20.

2. Bellus Health (TSX:BLU)

Current share price: C$7.36; yearly gain: 92.17 percent

Bellus Health is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of refractory common cough (RCC) and other hypersensitization-related disorders. The company’s product candidate, BLU-5937, is being developed for the treatment of RCC and chronic pruritus associated with atopic dermatitis.

In mid-September, Bellus Health announced positive findings from a preplanned administrative interim analysis of its ongoing Phase 2b SOOTHE trial of BLU-5937 in patients with RCC. Shares reached a year-to-date high of C$9.31 on February 10.

3. PsyBio Therapeutics (TSXV:PSYB)

Current share price: C$0.27; year-to-date gain: 90.59 percent

PsyBio Therapeutics is developing novel formulations of psychoactive medications produced by genetically modified bacteria for the treatment of mental health challenges and other disorders.

In July, the Canadian biotech stock added to its intellectual property portfolio with the filing of a new patent application with the US Patent and Trademark Office for psilocybin and norbaeocystin compositions. PsyBio’s intellectual property portfolio now includes five pending provisional patent applications and one pending non-provisional patent application. It plans on filing an investigational new drug (IND) application around the end of 2021. Shares of PsyBio began trading on February 25 at C$0.90.

4. Alpha Cognition (TSXV:ACOG)

Current share price: C$1.33; year-to-date gain: 86.27 percent

Clinical-stage biopharma company Alpha Cognition is developing novel treatments for underserved neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

In early September, the company announced that the US Food and Drug Administration had accepted the IND application for its lead candidate, ALPHA-1062, a proprietary, delayed-release oral tablet formulation designed to treat mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. The company plans to initiate a pivotal clinical study into the relative bioavailability of ALPHA-1062. If successful, Alpha Cognition will submit a new drug application in 2022. Shares reached a year-to-date high of C$2.49 on September 14.

5. ProMIS Neurosciences (TSX:PMN)

Current share price: C$0.18; year-to-date gain: 85 percent

ProMIS Neurosciences is a development-stage company focused on creating treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, ALS and Parkinson’s disease.

In late May, the top Canadian biotech stock announced the initiation of producer cell line development for PMN310, a potential antibody therapy for Alzheimer’s. The manufacturing of the antibody therapeutics will be carried out by Selexis using the company’s proprietary SUREtechnology platform. The stock reached its year-to-date high on June 8 at C$0.275.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_LifeScience for real-time news updates!

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

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