Top 5 NASDAQ Biotech Stocks of 2022

Row of test tubes and pippette with droplet of chemical coming from it.
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With 2022 coming to a close, that means it’s time to look back at the top NASDAQ biotech stocks of the year.

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

This year the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (INDEXNASDAQ:NBI) has managed to mostly hold on to the stellar gains it made in 2021 despite the high volatility seen across global markets.

Starting out the year at 4,761.94, the index was at 4,289.81 as of December 7, 2022. While it's had ups and downs over the past few years, in 2022 the index still kept up with — and at times outdid — the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:INX).

More growth could be in store in the future. According to a recent report from Grand View Research, the global biotech market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13.9 percent from now to 2030 to reach a valuation of US$3.89 trillion.

Driving that growth will be favorable government policies, investment in the sector, increased demand for synthetic biology and an increase in chronic disorders such as cancer, heart disease and hypertension.

Unsurprisingly, the top NASDAQ biotech stocks have seen sizeable share price increases this past year. Below the Investing News Network profiles the year’s five top gainers. Data was compiled on December 6, 2022, using TradingView’s stock screener, and all NASDAQ biotech stocks on the list had market caps between US$50 million and US$500 million at that time.

1. Voyager Therapeutics (NASDAQ:VYGR)

Market cap: US$242.07 million; year-to-date gain: 122.71 percent

Voyager Therapeutics is advancing early stage programs using its proprietary adeno-associated virus (AAV) capsids to develop gene therapies for diseases related to the central nervous system. Its pipeline includes gene therapies for Huntington’s Disease, monogenic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, spinal muscular atrophy, GBA1 mutations and HER1+ brain metastases.

Voyager recently inked an agreement to give Novartis (NYSE:NVS) “options to license novel AAV capsids generated from Voyager’s RNA-driven TRACERTM capsid discovery platform for potential use with three undisclosed (central nervous system) targets and options to access capsids for two additional targets to be agreed on in the future.”

Voyager's share price reached its highest point in 2022 on April 20, hitting US$10.60.

2. Imara (NASDAQ:IMRA)

Market cap: US$102.78 million; year-to-date gain: 72.5 percent

Imara is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that is developing and commercializing novel therapeutics to treat patients suffering from serious diseases, including rare inherited genetic disorders of hemoglobin.

In October, the company entered into a definitive merger agreement with clinical-stage precision oncology firm Enliven Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ENLV), which is focused on the discovery and development of next-generation small molecule kinase inhibitors. This NASDAQ biotech stock hit a yearly high of US$5.26 on November 11.

3. Anixa Biosciences (NASDAQ:ANIX)

Market cap: US$153 million; year-to-date gain: 64.77 percent

Next on this top NASDAQ biotech stocks list is Anixa Biosciences, which is developing therapies and vaccines that harness the body's immune system with a focus on critical unmet needs in oncology and infectious diseases.

The company's pipeline includes a cancer immunotherapy program that uses chimeric endocrine receptor T-cell technology; it is being developed in collaboration with the Moffitt Cancer Center. Anixa is also working on a novel vaccine in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic to prevent breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Anixa's share price hit its highest point in 2022 on September 21, reaching US$6.25.

4. Ardelyx (NASDAQ:ARDX)

Market cap: US$348.68 million; year-to-date gain: 64.73 percent

Biotech firm Ardelyx develops and commercializes first-in-class medicines that meet significant unmet medical needs. The company's first approved product, IBSRELA (tenapanor), is now available in the US and Canada. Ardelyx's pipeline includes Phase 3 XPHOZAH (tenapanor), a novel product candidate to control serum phosphorus in adult patients with chronic kidney disease on dialysis, as well as Phase 2 RDX013 for the potential treatment of hyperkalemia, which affects patients with kidney and heart disease.

In mid-November, a US Food and Drug Administration advisory committee voted that the benefits of Ardelyx's XPHOZAH outweigh its risks for the control of serum phosphorus in adult patients who have chronic kidney disease and are on dialysis. This NASDAQ biotech stock spiked to its highest point in 2022 on November 18 to reach US$2.19.

5. VectivBio Holding (NASDAQ:VECT)

Market cap: US$352.69 million; year-to-date gain: 59.68 percent

Last on this top NASDAQ biotech stocks is VectivBio Holding, which is focused on discovering and developing treatments for patients with severe rare conditions. This clinical-stage biotech company's lead product candidate is apraglutide, a next-generation, long-acting synthetic GLP-2 analog being developed for a range of rare gastrointestinal diseases, including short bowel syndrome with intestinal failure and acute graft-versus-host disease. The company is also advancing its modular small-molecule CoMET platform to address a broad range of inherited metabolic diseases that were previously not treatable with medicines.

In mid-October, VectivBio announced positive interim data from its ongoing Phase 2 STARS nutrition study evaluating the safety, pharmacokinetics and efficacy of apraglutide. VectivBio's share price reached its highest point in 2022 on October 13, hitting US$9.29.

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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