Canada’s pharmaceutical industry is a key contributor to the global pharma market. Here are the top Canadian pharma stocks so far in 2022.
Click here to read the previous top Canadian pharma stocks article.
The life science sector is one of Canada’s key industries, and as a sub-sector the pharmaceutical industry represents 41 percent of the country's life science gross domestic product.
“Canada’s commercially oriented research network takes innovation from lab to market; joint investment opportunities in research allow for R&D result optimization; and the responsive and efficient regulatory environment facilitates business operations,” according to Invest in Canada.
In fact, the organization notes that 5 percent of the world’s clinical trials take place in Canada, making it one of the 10 top medical research nations in the world.
Overall, the Canadian pharma sector is the 10th largest in the world and accounts for 2 percent of the global market. With a population of roughly 38 million as of 2021, Canada’s pharmaceutical market share is profound, and the country is home to companies making moves.
Below the Investing News Network profiles the top Canadian pharma stocks on the TSX, TSXV and CSE in terms of year-to-date performance. The top Canadian pharma stocks list below was compiled using TradingView’s stock screener, with all numbers current as of April 21, 2022. Each pharma stock on the list had a market capitalization of between C$10 million and C$500 million at that time.
1. Acerus Pharmaceutical (TSX:ASP)
Market cap: US$61.5 million; year-to-date gain: 60 percent
Acerus Pharmaceutical is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing prescription products targeting sexual health. Its product line includes Natesto, the first and only nasal testosterone replacement therapy available in Canada and the US for the treatment of male hypogonadism. Acerus’ pipeline includes drug candidates for the treatment of erectile dysfunction and female sexual dysfunction.
In mid-March, Acerus reported that total Natesto prescriptions in the US rose 20 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2021, and were up approximately 28 percent for the full year over the 2020 period. This top Canadian pharma stock hit a year-to-date high of C$0.05 on April 14.
2. Fennec Pharmaceuticals (TSX:FRX)
Market cap: C$200.3 million; year-to-date gain: 34.64 percent
Next on this list of top Canadian pharma stocks is Fennec Pharmaceuticals. The company's lead candidate is Pedmark, a treatment for pediatric cancer patients experiencing hearing loss as a result of platinum-based chemotherapy. The treatment is based on a unique formulation of sodium thiosulfate.
Pedmark received breakthrough therapy and fast-track designation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in March 2018. The European Medicines Agency is currently evaluating the marketing authorization application for treatment under the trade name Pedmarqsi. In late March, the company resubmitted its new drug application to the FDA for Pedmark. Shares of Fennec hit a year-to-date high of C$8.02 on April 8.
3. Cipher Pharmaceuticals (TSX:CPH)
Market cap: C$62.56 million; year-to-date gain: 33.9 percent
Third on this list of top Canadian pharma stocks is Cipher Pharmaceuticals, which has developed a diversified portfolio of commercial and early to late-stage products. Commercial products are marketed directly in Canada and indirectly through partners in the US and South America.
In March, Cipher reported that its partner, Moberg Pharma, had submitted a regulatory filing to the FDA for the next clinical Phase 3 study for nail fungus treatment MOB-015. “The purpose of the new study is to facilitate market approval in the US as well as strengthen the product's clinical evidence and marketing claims globally,” states a press release. Cipher holds the exclusive Canadian rights to MOB-015.
Shares reached a year-to-date high of C$2.52 on April 13.
4. Medexus Pharmaceuticals (TSX:MDP)
Market cap: C$60.65 million; year-to-date gain: 17.25 percent
Commercial-stage Medexus Pharmaceuticals has a portfolio of products targeting a range of therapeutic areas, including hematology, autoimmune diseases, allergies, specialty oncology and pediatrics. Medexus’ leading products are Rasuvo and Metoject, which are auto-pen and pre-filled syringe therapies designed to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.
In early March, Medexus announced it had acquired exclusive rights to commercialize Gleolan in the US. Gleolan is an optical imaging agent indicated for patients with glioma as an adjunct for the visualization of malignant tissue or tumor tissue during surgery. The company already has rights to Gleolan in Canada.
This top Canadian pharma stock hit a year-to-date high of C$3.36 on March 3.
5. BioSyent (TSXV:RX)
Market cap: C$118.56 million; year-to-date gain: 15.86 percent
Specialty pharmaceutical company BioSyent is focused on in-licensing, or acquiring proven healthcare and pharmaceutical products. Once acquired, the company manages these products through governmental regulatory approval processes and on through commercialization. The structure of the company’s business model helps to reduce risk while seeking to grow profits.
In March 2022, BioSyent reported full-year 2021 net revenues of C$28.62 million, which was an increase of 28 percent versus the full 2020 year. Its Canadian pharmaceutical net revenues accounted for C$25.78 million of that figure. This top Canadian pharma stock hit a 2022 year-to-date high of C$10 on April 13.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.