5 Best Biotech Stocks To Watch For 2014

The board of directors of railroad products manufacturer Wabtec (NYSE: WAB  ) was busy yesterday, announcing it was increasing its quarterly dividend payment by 60% while simultaneously splitting the company’s stock.

The board said it was raising the payout from $0.025 per share to $0.04 per share on Aug. 30 for shareholders of record as of Aug. 16. This marks the third consecutive year Wabtec has increased the dividend.

The stock split, which will be paid June 11 to shareholders of record June 3, would be a 100% stock dividend and shareholders would receive one additional share of Wabtec’s stock for each share they own on the record date. It expects the stock to begin trading at the split-adjusted price on June 12.

The new dividend payment equates to a $0.16-per-share annual dividend yielding 0.1% based on the closing price of Wabtec’s stock on May 14.

5 Best Biotech Stocks To Watch For 2014: StemCells Inc (STEM)

StemCells, Inc. (StemCells), incorporated in August 1988, is engaged in the research, development, and commercialization of stem cell therapeutics and related tools and technologies for academia and industry. The Company is focused on developing and commercializing stem and progenitor cells as the basis for therapeutics and therapies, and cells and related tools and technologies to enable stem cell-based research and drug discovery and development. The Company’s primary research and development efforts are focused on identifying and developing stem and progenitor cells as potential therapeutic agents. The Company has two therapeutic product development programs, including its CNS Program, which is developing applications for HuCNS-SC cells, its human neural stem cell product candidate, and its Liver Program, which is characterizing the Company’s human liver cells as a therapeutic product.

CNS Program

The Company in its CNS Program, is in cli nical development with its HuCNS-SC cells for a range of disorders of the central nervous system. The CNS includes the brain, spinal cord and eye. In February 2012, the Company had completed a Phase I clinical trial in Pelizeaus-Merzbacher Disease (PMD), a fatal myelination disorder in the brain.

The Company’s CNS Program is focused on developing clinical applications, in which transplanting HuCNS-SC cells protect or restore organ function of the patient before such function is irreversibly damaged or lost due to disease progression. The Company’s initial target indications are PMD, and more generally, diseases in which deficient myelination plays a central role, such as cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis; spinal cord injury, disorders in which retinal degeneration plays a central role, such as age-related macular degeneration or retinitis pigmentosa. The Company’s product candidate, HuCNS-SC cells, is a purified and expanded composition of normal human neural stem cells. Its HuCNS-SC cells can be directly transp! lanted.

Liver Program

Liver stem or progenitor cells offer an alternative treatment for liver diseases. A liver cellular therapy or cell-based therapeutic provide or support liver function in patients with liver disease. The Company held a portfolio of issued and allowed patents in the liver field, which cover the isolation and use of both hLEC cells and the isolated subset, as well as the composition of the cells themselves.

The Company’s range of cell culture products, which are sold under the SC Proven brand, includes iSTEM, GS1-R, GS2-M, RHB-A, RHB-Basal, NDiff N2, and NDiff N2B27. Its iSTEM is a serum-free, feeder-free medium that maintains mouse embryonic stem cells in their pluripotent ground state by using selective small molecule inhibitors to block the pathways, which induce differentiation. RHB-A is a defined, serum-free culture medium for the selective culture of human and mouse neural stem cells and their maintenance a nd expansion as adherent cell populations. RHB-Basal is a defined, serum-free basal medium. When supplemented with specific growth factors, this media is formulated for the propagation and differentiation of adherent neural stem cells. RHB-Basal can also be tailored to specific-cell type requirements by the addition of customer preferred supplements.

The Company’s NDiff N2 is a defined serum-free scell culture supplement for the derivation, maintenance, expansion and/or differentiation of human and mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells and tissue-derived neural stem cells supplement. Its NDiff N2-AF is a serum-free and animal component-free version of NDiff N2. Its NDiff N2B27 is a defined, serum-free medium for the differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells to neural cell types. NDiff N27-AF is a serum-free and animal component-free version of NDiff N27. Its GS1-R is a serum-free media formulation shown to enable the derivation and long-term maintenance of true, germline competent rat embryonic stem cells without the add! ition of ! cytokines or growth factors. Its GS2-M is a defined, serum- and feeder-free medium for the derivation and long-term maintenance of true, germline competent mouse iPS cells.

The Company also markets a number of antibody reagents for use in cell detection, isolation and characterization. These reagents are also under the SC Proven brand and it includes STEM24, STEM101, STEM121 and STEM123. Its STEM24 is a human antibody that recognizes human CD24, also known as heat stable antigen (HSA), a glycoprotein expressed on the surface of many human cell types, including immature human hematopoietic cells, peripheral blood lymphocytes, erythrocytes and many human carcinomas. Its CD24 is also a marker of human neural differentiation. Its STEM101 is a human-specific mouse antibody that recognizes the Ku80 protein found in human nuclei. Its STEM121 is a human-specific mouse antibody that recognizes a cytoplasmic protein of human cells. Its STEM123 is a human-specific mouse an tibody that recognizes human glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP).

The Company’s Other products marketed under SC Proven include total cell genomic DNA (gDNA), RNA and protein lysate reagents purified from homogenous stem cell populations for intra-comparative studies, such as Epigenetic fingerprinting, Southern, Western and Northern blots, PCR, RT-PCR and microarrays. This range of purified stem cell line lysates includes mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells propagated in SC Proven 2i inhibitor-based GS2-M media and mouse ES cell-derived and fetal tissue-derived neural stem (NS) cells propagated in SC Proven RHB-A media.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    The results of a recent Pew Center Poll regarding attitudes towards abortion and various forms of stem cell research could be a good sign for the stem cell industry along with small cap stem cell stocks like StemCells Inc (NASDAQ: STEM), NeoStem Inc (NASDAQ: NBS), Neuralstem, Inc (NYSEMKT: CUR), International Stem Cell Corp (OTCMKTS: ISCO) and BioRestorative Therapies (OTCBB: BRTX). Basically, Americans think that having an abortion is a moral issue with 49% of American adults believing abortion is morally wrong, 23% view it not as a moral issue and and 15% view it as morally acceptable. However and when Americans were asked about issues surrounding human embryos, such as stem cell research or in vitro fertilization, as a matter of morality, their views were different.

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    When an investor thinks of spinal-related stem cell stocks, usually a name like Neuralstem, Inc (NYSEMKT: CUR) or StemCells Inc (NASDAQ: STEM) comes to mind. And well they should. STEM has logged some amazing breakthroughs in the field of spinal cord repair, while CUR has done the same. Not all back problems are spinal cord related though. In fact, most back problems – and therefore the most opportunity – are bone and disc related problems. That’s where a young gun like BioRestorative Therapies (OTCBB: BRTX) can step in and make stem cell waves. BRTX has developed an approach to rejuvenate and revive failing spinal discs, potentially ending pain for millions of back-pain sufferers, and circumventing expensive spinal surgeries that are in increasing burden on insurance companies.

5 Best Biotech Stocks To Watch For 2014: Redhill Biopharma Ltd (RDHL)

Redhill Biopharma Ltd. is an Israel-based biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on the development and acquisition of therapeutic candidates. The Company’s pipeline consists of six late clinical development therapeutic candidates, two of which have completed bioequivalence clinical trials subject to review and approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration and, in some cases, regulatory authorities in other countries. The Company’s six clinical stage therapeutic candidates include RHB-101, RHB-102, RHB-103, RHB-104, RHB-105 and RHB-106.

RHB-101

RHB-101 is a treatment of hypertension, heart failure and left ventricular dysfunction (following myocardial infraction) by means of controlled release of an active ingredient known as carvedilol, which is designed to be administered to patients on a once-daily basis. RHB-101 is based on a patented technology for the controlled release of drugs administered orally.

RHB-102

RHB-102 is a once-daily controlled release oral formulation of ondansetron. RHB-102 utilizes a technology called CDT that uses salts to provide a controlled release of ondansetron.

RHB-103

RHB-103 is an oral thin film formulation of rizatriptan intended for the treatment of acute migraine headaches. Migraine is a neurovascular disorder (related to nerves and blood vessels) characterized by recurrent headaches in one side or both sides of the head.

The product is based on a technology called VersaFilm.

RHB-104

RHB-104 is an antibiotic combination therapy for the treatment of Crohn’s disease (with a PIII clinical study underway), as well as Multiple Sclerosis (with an ongoing PIIa clinical study) and Rheumatoid Arthritis. RHB-104 is a combination of clarithromycin, clofazimine and rifabutin, three generic antibiotic ingredients, in a single capsule.

RHB-105

RHB-105, an antibiotics and proton pump inhibitor drug targeting Helico! bacter Pylori infection. RHB-105 is a combination of three approved drug products omeprazole, which is a proton pump inhibitor (the natural body pump that produces the gastric acids used for digesting the food in the stomach), and amoxicillin and rifabutin which are antibiotics. Chronic infection with Helicobacter pylori irritates the mucosal lining of the stomach and small intestine.

RHB-106

RHB-106, is a tablet for the preparation and cleansing of the gastrointestinal tract prior to the performance of abdominal procedures. Its abdominal procedures include diagnostic tests, such as colonoscopy, barium enema or virtual colonoscopy, as well as surgical interventions, such as laparotomy.

The company competes with GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi-Aventis Groupe, Hoffman-La Roche Ltd, Merck and Co., Inc, Ferring Pharmaceuticals and Salix Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Breaking news

    Vitran Corporation (NASDAQ: VTNC) announced today that it has entered into a definitive arrangement agreement with TransForce pursuant to which TransForce has agreed to acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Vitran not already owned by TransForce for US$6.50 in cash per share, in accordance with TransForce’s prior proposal. To read the full news, click here. ReneSola (NYSE: SOL) today announced it signed a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) to sell three utility-scale projects in Western China, with a total capacity of 60MW, to Jiangsu Akcome Solar Science & Technology Co on December 30, 2013. To read the full news, click here. Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE: CTB) today announced it has terminated the merger agreement with Apollo Tyres (NSE:ApolloTYRE). To read the full news, click here. RedHill Biopharma (NASDAQ: RDHL) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with leading healthcare investor OrbiMed Israel Partners Limited Partnership, an affiliate of OrbiMed Advisors LLC, for the sale of RedHill’s American Depository Shares and warrants in a private placement transactionor a total sum of $6.0 million. To read the full news, click here.

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5 Best Biotech Stocks To Watch For 2014: NanoViricides Inc (NNVC)

NanoViricides, Inc., incorporated on April 1, 2005, is a development-stage company. The Company is a nano-biopharmaceutical (nanomedicine) company whose business goals are to discover, develop and commercialize therapeutics to advance the care of patients suffering from life-threatening viral infections. The Company has several drugs in various stages of early development. The Company’s drugs are based on several patents, patent applications, provisional patent applications, and other property held by TheraCour Pharma, Inc. (TheraCou), to which the Company has exclusive licenses in perpetuity for the treatment of human viral diseases: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV/AIDS), Influenza including Asian Bird Flu Virus (INF), Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), and Rabies. As of June 30, 2012, the Company had six drug development programs: Oral FluCideTM, against all Influenzas; a Piggy-back version of Flucide for hospitalized patien ts; nanoviricide eye drops against adenoviral EKC and herpes keratitis; HIVCide – I against HIV/AIDS; HerpeCide – I skin cream formulation for herpes cold sores and genital warts, and DengueCide, a broad spectrum nanoviricide designed to attack all types of dengue viruses and expected to be effective in the Severe Dengue Disease syndromes including Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHS) and Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS). As of June 30, 2012, it had engaged in organizational activities, sourcing compounds and materials, developing novel compounds and nanomaterials, and experimentation with studies on cell cultures and animals. In September 2011, NanoViricides Inc’s Inno-Haven LLC acquired a light industrial building.

The Company’s product development programs are divided into three sectors: commercially important diseases, neglected tropical diseases (NTD’s) and biosecurity/biodefense, and advanced technologies. The Company has collaborations with KARD Scientific, Inc., MA. and Southern Research Institute, AL for influenza viruse! s; National (Central) Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) (Vietnam), for H5N1 avian flu; The Long Island Jewish Medical System, Feinstein Institute of Medical Research (LIJMS), NY and TheVac, LLC. for viral diseases of the eye (adenoviruses, herpesviruses – epidemic kerato-conjunctivitis (EKC), Herpes Keratitis); TheVac, LLC and Northeastern Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) for herpes virus infections; University of California at Berkeley for dengue hemorrhagic fever viruses; Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National (Central) Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology for rabies virus. The Company has developed lead drug candidates against a number of viral diseases.

The Company had consolidated all of its influenza drug programs into a single pan-influenza FluCide program. It is developing a single drug for all influenzas, whether pandemic, epidemic, seasonal, novel, emerging, human, swine, or avian. It is developing a nanoviricide agai nst adenoviral EKC. The nanoviricide eye drug candidate is formulated as simple eye drops. It is developing an anti-HSV nanoviricide skin cream formulation for direct application to the lesions. It has designed the anti-HIV nanoviricides using rational drug design principles. The ligands it has designed in the case of HIV-1 are thought to be broadly neutralizing. In-silico modeling indicates that its ligands dock to the conserved CD4 binding site of gp120 of HIV-1. The Company is working on developing anti-Dengue therapeutics. Dengue is an important NTD. Its RabiCide program has resulted in candidates that have enabled survival of 20% to 30% of infected animals after disease has set in, using a particular animal model.

The Company competes with Roche, Glaxo SmithKline, BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Gilead, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMS), Roche, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck & Co., Inc. (Merck), Valeant, Schering, Pharmassett, Vertex, Intermune, Achillion and Novartis.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    One under-$10 nano-biopharmaceutical player that’s starting to trend within range of triggering a big breakout trade is Nanoviricides (NNVC), which engages in the discovery, development and commercialization of anti-viral therapeutics primarily in the U.S. This stock has been ripping to the upside so far in 2013, with share up big by 198%.

    If you take a look at the chart for Nanoviricides, you’ll notice that this stock has recently formed a double bottom chart pattern at $4.55 to $4.52 a share. Following that bottom, shares of NNVC have now started to uptrend and move within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if NNVC manages to take out the upper-end of its recent sideways trading chart pattern, which has seen NNVC trend between $4.55 and $5.74 a share.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in NNVC if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at Friday’s high of $4.94 a share to its 50-day moving average of $5.28 a share, and then once it takes out some more key overhead resistance levels at $5.72 to $5.74 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average volume of 234,994 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then NNVC will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $6.50 to its 52-week high at $7.59 a share.

    Traders can look to buy NNVC off weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below some key near-term support levels at $4.55 to $4.52 a share. One can also buy NNVC off strength once it starts to clear those breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a comfortable percentage from your entry point.

5 Best Biotech Stocks To Watch For 2014: Elan Corporation PLC (ELN)

Elan Corporation, plc (Elan), incorporated in December 1969, is a neuroscience-based biotechnology company. The Company is focused on discovering and developing advanced therapies in neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases. Elan’s business focuses on neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease; autoimmune diseases, including MS and Crohn’s disease and neo-epitope based targets for treatments across a range of therapeutic indications. Tysabri is a treatment for MS and Crohn’s disease that the Company markets and distributes with Biogen Idec. On September 16, 2011, Elan sold its EDT business to Alkermes, Inc. In November 2011, Elan launched a collaboration with the University of Cambridge, England, the Cambridge-Elan Centre for Research Innovation and Drug Discovery (Cambridge-Elan Centre). On December 21, 2012, the Company completed the demerger of Prothena Corporation plc. In April 2013, it closed the TYSABRI (natalizumab) Co llaboration Transaction with Biogen Idec.

Tysabri

Tysabri, which is an alpha-4 integrin inhibitor, is a therapy for MS, a neurological disorder involving central nervous system dysfunction among adults. Tysabri is approved in more than 65 countries. Tysabri is approved in the United States as a monotherapy for relapsing forms of MS, for patients who have had an inadequate response to, or are unable to tolerate, an alternative MS therapy. In the European Union, it is approved for relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) in adult patients who have failed to respond to beta interferon or have rapidly evolving, severe RRMS. As of December 31, 2011, there were approximately 64,400 patients on Tysabri therapy worldwide.

In June 2011, the European Commission (EC) approved the inclusion of the anti-JCV antibody status as an additional factor in stratifying patients at risk for developing PML in the Summary of Product Characteristics’ (SmPC) for Tysabri in the European Union. The Company has developed a two-step ! enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), STRATIFY JCV, with Biogen Idec. The assay detects anti-JCV antibodies in the blood of patients, and is commercially available in Europe. In January 2012, the FDA cleared the assay for commercial use in the United States. As of December 31, 2011, over 80,000 tests had been administered using the assay. Tysabri is marketed and distributed by Elan and Biogen Idec. The Company’s research group, Neotope, is focused on creating monoclonal antibodies based on neo-epitope targets for the treatment of a range of therapeutic indications.

Beta Amyloid Immunotherapies (AIP)

Beta amyloid immunotherapy includes the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease by inducing or enhancing the body’s immune response in order to clear toxic species of beta amyloid from the brain. The AIP includes bapineuzumab (intravenous and subcutaneous delivery) and ACC-001, as well as other compounds. Bapineuzumab is an experimental humanized mon oclonal antibody delivered intravenously that is being studied as a treatment for mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. It is designed to provide antibodies to beta amyloid directly to the patient (passive immunotherapy).

ELND005, an Aß Aggregation Inhibitor

The small molecule ELND005 (Scyllo-inositol) is a beta amyloid anti-aggregation agent. Preclinical data suggest that ELND005 may act through the mechanism of preventing and reversing the fibrilisation of beta amyloid (the aggregation of beta amyloid into clumps of insoluble oligomers). ELND005 may have additional applications in psychiatric indications, such as bipolar disorder. In November 2011, the Company entered into a manufacturing agreement for the supply of the active pharmaceutical ingredient for ELND005 with Lonza Group AG.

Neotope Biosciences Limited

Neotope Biosciences Limited (Neotope) is the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary that focuses on the discove ry and development of antibodies to neo-epitope related targ! ets for t! he treatment of a range of indications. It includes amyloidosis, diabetes, cancer and macular degeneration. Neotope’s portfolio of targets includes alpha-synuclein for the potential treatment of synucleinopathies, such as Lewy body dementia and Parkinson’s disease, tau for Alzheimer’s disease and other tauopathies. It also has a program for type 2-diabetes.

Onclave Therapeutics Limited

Elan’s wholly owned subsidiary Onclave Therapeutics Limited (Onclave) was formed to develop assets originating from Elan that have application in oncology related diseases. Onclave’s program, NEOD001, which originated from Neotope, is being investigated for the treatment of AL amyloidosis, which is a fatal disease involving abnormal accumulation of amyloid in organs and tissue. During the year ended December 31, 2011, Onclave filed for orphan drug designation of NEOD001. Onclave’s pipeline includes additional compounds with relevance in diverse cancer indi cations.

The Company competes with Biogen Idec, Bayer Schering Pharma AG, Bayer Schering Pharma, Merck Serono, Pfizer, Teva Neurosciences, Inc., Sanofi-Aventis and Novartis AG.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By MONEYMORNING]

    Add Amgen Inc.’s (Nasdaq: AMGN) August $10.4 billion offer for Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ONXX), Perrigo Co.’s (NYSE: PRGO) July purchase of Elan Corp. (NYSE ADR: ELN) for $8.6 billion, and the Shire deal, and the year-to-date deal value for pharma/biotech M&A hits more than $50 billion.

  • [By Brian Orelli]

    Royalty Pharma announced Monday that it’s willing increase the $11-per-share offer it made for Elan (NYSE: ELN  ) back in February, depending on the result of Elan’s buyback.

  • [By Tim Brugger]

    After confirming an unsolicited takeover bid from privately held investment firm Royalty Pharma in late February, Ireland-based Elan (NYSE: ELN  ) announced today that its board has unanimously rejected the offer.

5 Best Biotech Stocks To Watch For 2014: Enanta Pharmaceuticals Inc (ENTA)

Enanta Pharmaceuticals, Inc., incorporated on July 25, 1995, is a research and development-focused biotechnology company. The Company uses its chemistry-driven approach and drug discovery capabilities to create small molecule drugs in the infectious disease field. The Company is discovering and developing novel inhibitors designed for use against the hepatitis C virus (HCV). These inhibitors include members of the direct acting antiviral (DAA) inhibitor classes-protease (partnered with AbbVie, the former research-based pharmaceutical business of Abbott Laboratories), NS5A (partnered with Novartis) and nucleotide polymerase, as well as a host targeted antiviral (HTA) inhibitor class targeted against cyclophilin. ABT-450, discovered through its collaboration with AbbVie, is a protease inhibitor that has demonstrated in vitro potency against known resistant HCV mutants.

In Phase I studies, ABT-450 co-administered with ritonavir, a commonly used boosting agent to increase the blood concentrations of many protease inhibitors, was shown to be safe and well tolerated. Co-administration of ABT-450 with ritonavir, which it refers to together as ABT-450/r, has enabled once-daily dosing of ABT-450. Phase II studies have demonstrated the efficacy of ABT-450/r in patients with chronic HCV, and other interferon-free Phase II studies of ABT-450-containing regimens continue. AbbVie is developing a next-generation protease inhibitor discovered within the Enanta-AbbVie collaboration. EDP-239 is the NS5A inhibitor discovered by the Company. The Company also has a program to develop nucleotide inhibitors to HCV NS5B polymerase, which is another DAA mechanism considered to have a barrier to resistance. The Company’s Bicyclolide antibiotic product candidate is EDP-788, which it is developing for use as an intravenous drug in the hospital setting and for oral dosing in the home setting. EDP-788 is a prodrug, which means that it is inactive until it is converted in the body into an active compound. EDP-788 is! a water-soluble molecule which, when administered in preclinical models, is cleanly and rapidly converted into the active compound.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sean Williams]

    The next big thing in treating hepatitis-C
    The other currently experimental therapy very likely to make it onto the FDA’s desk before the midpoint of 2014 is AbbVie’s (NYSE: ABBV  ) direct-acting antiviral combo drug. In similar fashion to Sovaldi, this DAA-combo therapy, which includes ABT-450 from Enanta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ENTA  ) , is running six confirmatory late-stage trials on various genotypes. There are, however, two primary differences between AbbVie’s DAA-combo therapy and Sovaldi.

  • [By James Fink]

    And lastly I’ll go into healthcare, which is kind of a growth cyclical type name. It’s partially defensive, partially growth. I think the more growth-oriented section of healthcare would be biotech, and right now, a very promising biotech stock is Enanta Pharmaceuticals. That’s a NASDAQ stock; ticker symbol (ENTA).