Top 10 Biotech Stocks To Watch For 2018


Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN) jumped to the top of the S&P 500 today after Barclays upgraded the biotech stock to Overweight from Equal Weight citing fewer macro headwinds.

Getty Images

Shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals gained 5.2% to $125.59, while the S&P 500 rose 0.1%.

Barclays analyst Geoff Meacham and team explain why they upgraded Alexion Pharmaceuticals:

We are upgrading shares ofAlexion to Overweight and increasing our PT to $155 from $150 on an improved outlook for 2017. Specifically, we see lower FX and fewer macroeconomic risks to the core base business over the next 12 months. We also expect approval of Soliris in refractory gMG by YE17 following a planned regulatory submission in 1Q17, which could add another growth lever in early 2018 at the latest. Our upgrade is not a call on the recent 10-Q delay, which according to our discussions with management has to do with an investigation into sales practices following allegations by a former employee. We also do not anticipate major restatements of historical Soliris sales due to the investigation. Furthermore, this is not a call on Kanuma or the Synageva deal, as we have cut our Kanuma sales in our P&L and reduced its contribution in our NPV valuation. Indeed, we would expect minimal weakness inAlexion shares if the company were to take a write-down on Synageva during 2017, but this is not core to our investment thesis. In sum, our bullishness onAlexion shares is due to: 1) lessened FX and macroeconomic headwinds in 2017, 2) near-term Soliris growth from likely regulatory approval in refractory gMG, and 3) attractive upside potential from current levels as the pipeline including line extensions for Soliris and new assets such as 1210 mature.

Top 10 Biotech Stocks To Watch For 2018: Medivation Inc.(MDVN)


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Scott Rubin]

    Big gainers on the day included Intersil Corp (NASDAQ: ISIL), which jumped 20 percent on news of a buyout, and Medivation (NASDAQ: MDVN), which added 20 percent on a deal with Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) related to its cancer drug. Cotiviti Holdings Inc (NYSE: COTV) lost around 9 percent in the wake of a mid-day sell-off and Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE: MRO) fell 7 percent in the wake of a management shakeup.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Shares of Medivation Inc (NASDAQ: MDVN) got a boost, shooting up 24 percent to $46.35 amid word of a new report from Bloomberg, saying the company is working with bankers to defend itself against preliminary interest of a takeover. However, Reuters separately reported the company is working with JPMorgan to handle interest from other companies, but said Medivation has no interest in selling itself.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Medivation Inc (NASDAQ: MDVN) is said to have spurned recent takeover approach from France’s Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE: SNY), according to sources as reported by Bloomberg on Tuesday. Sanofi wants Medivation’s treatments for hard-to-cure cancers, the sources said. Medivation shares surged 8.46 percent to $49.60 in the after-hours trading session, while Sanofi shares fell 0.59 percent to $42.02 in after-hours trading.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Macro considerations have continued to weigh on stocks whenever they’ve shown signs of life and consensus estimates for many of the large cap companies have been declining. With the sector’s underperformance, the delta in the average PEG ratio for biotech growth companies (excluding Medivation (MDVN)) compared to non-biotech growth companies is slightly wider than it’s been for most of the year. As such, we remain constructive on the sector. That said, while valuations are attractive on a relative basis, there remains some uncertainty for the group and we would not be surprised to see the volatility continue…

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    RBC’s Simos Simeonidis and Matthew Eckler try to find the right comparison for Pfizer’s (PFE) purchase of Medivation (MDVN):

    Scott Eisen/Bloomberg News

    We were obviously wrong with our Sector Perform rating: while we knew an M&A transaction was definitely a good possibility, we just could not get to this level of valuation using a realistic Xtandi model and thus could not recommend the stock. The only way for us to get to $81.50 (or even to $60-$70/share) would have been to assign very significant value to talazoparib. And we could not do that given the amount of available clinical evidence.Medivation shareholders who held on to their shares past the $50′s, did just that, were proven right and are now rewarded for it, since they believed that someone would be willing to pay for this asset just months ahead of Phase III data. The key question is why would a company be willing to part with what they claim/think may be a multibillion dollar drug that works in multiple cancers. We believe the obvious answer is because they’re smart and understand drug development risk better than most. We’ll know in a matter of months whether Pfizer/Medivation is like Amgen (AMGN)-Onyx (carfilzomib) or not.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Last night, Bloomberg reported that Sanofi (SNY) had made a bid for Medivation (MDVN) but had been rebuffed, while noting that other companies–perhaps Gilead Sciences (GILD), Amgen (AMGN) or AstraZeneca (AZN)?–were also on the prowl. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey’s Peter Lawson explains why Medivation might be biotech’s most wanted:

Top 10 Biotech Stocks To Watch For 2018: Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc.(ALNY)


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Yesterday, after markets closed, it was announced that US Federal District Court Judge Sue Robinson ruled to issue a permanent injunction against Praluent, the PCSK9 mAb for hypercholesterolemia from partners Regeneron and Sanofi, due to infringement of patents from Amgen. The court has imposed a 30-day suspension (stay) on the injunction to allow for settlement or appeal of the District Court decision. Sanofi and Regeneron have announced their intent to appeal the ruling to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC). The injunction decision is consistent with our counter-consensus published views communicated on 25 January 2016 (“Downgrade to Sell on evidence of likely infringement of Amgen’s PCSK9 patents”) and subsequently. Based on consultation with expert legal counsel, we now put >75% probability Amgen will prevail on appeal and/or Praluent is ultimately removed from the US market, and/or Amgen achieves a settlement substantially in its favor. We currently model $3.3 bn in non-risk-adjusted 2022E US revenues for Praluent, while consensus models $1.2 bn in 2022E US revenues. We reiterate our view from 25 January 2016 to preferentially own Amgen, The Medicines Company (MDCO) (Buy), and Alnylam (ALNY) (Buy) over Regeneron for exposure to PCSK9 inhibitor market dynamics as outcomes trials approach.

  • [By Cory Renauer]

    Treating diseases that have a genetic component by altering the expression of the responsible genes is a promising new field of medicine, but it has been much less straightforward than biopharmaceutical companies had expected. Two contenders in this area, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALNY) and Ionis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IONS), saw a mix of setbacks and success in 2016.

  • [By Chris Dier-Scalise]

    On Thursday, the Vetr crowd downgraded Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALNY) from 4.5 stars (Strong Buy), which was issued two days ago, to 3.5 stars (Hold). Crowd sentiment for Alnylam at the time of the downgrade was edging positive, with 66 percent of Vetr user rating bullish.

  • [By Brian Orelli]

    Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALNY) jumped as much as 14.5% today after announcing earnings after the bell yesterday. As a development-stage biotech, it wasn’t the revenue or the earnings that caused the spike, but the progression of Allnylam’s pipeline.

Top 10 Biotech Stocks To Watch For 2018: Biogen Idec Inc(BIIB)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By George Budwell]

    Shares of theDanish drugmaker Forward Pharma A/S (NASDAQ:FWP) gained 48.2% yesterday as the result of a settlement and licensing deal with Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB)involving an ongoing patent dispute over the multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera. Per the terms of the deal, Biogen will fork overa non-refundable$1.25 billion licensing fee, and possibly pay 10% to 20% royalties on Tecfidera’snet sales to Forward starting in 2021.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Biogen (BIIB) tumbled to the bottom of the S&P 500 today after getting cut by two analysts.

    Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

    Biogen dropped 4.7% to $278.96 at 4:19 p.m. today, while the S&P 500 declined 0.2% to 2,381.38.

    Leerinks Geoffrey Porges cited the “slower than expected ramp for Spinraza” in cutting Biogen to Market Perform from Outperform, while Morgan Stanly’s Matthew Harrison wrote that his decision to cut Biogen to Market Weight from Overweight was “not a downside call, but a timing call.”


    Biogen’s market capitalization fell to $60.2 billion today from $63.2 billion yesterday. It reported net income of $3.7 billion on sales of $10.2 billion in 2016.

    Barron’s Teresa Rivas recommended buying Biogen in December after the company released positive trial data on its Alzheimer’s drug.

  • [By WWW.THESTREET.COM]

    Breakups have the potential to create a lot of value. Just look at what Biogen (BIIB) did with its hemophilia franchise. Spun out as Bioverativ (BIVV) , shares started trading earlier this year. The stock has climbed some 23% on seemingly no news, Cramer noted.

Top 10 Biotech Stocks To Watch For 2018: ARIAD Pharmaceuticals Inc.(ARIA)


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Healthcare shares gained around 0.73 percent in trading on Monday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARIA), and VCA Inc (NASDAQ: WOOF).

Top 10 Biotech Stocks To Watch For 2018: Amgen Inc.(AMGN)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    What do I mean? Regeneron’s dropped 14% during the last three months, the result of a patent suit with Amgen(AMGN) over its anti-cholesterol drug Praluent, which a judge had set it wouldn’t be able to sell in the U.S.Then last night, there was finally good news: Ajudge ordered a stay, which would allow Regeneron to sell Praluent, and resulted in a 2% pop in its shares last night after the market close. But then Regeneron reported earnings, and while profits of $3.04 cents a share metthe Street consensus, Regeneron missed on sales and offered disappointing guidance. That caused Regeneron shares to sink 2.1% in pre-open trading.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) tumbled to the bottom of the S&P 500 today after a judge said the company could be forced to stop selling an anti-cholesterol drug due to violating an Amgen (AMGN) patent.

  • [By Tom Gentile]

    After the Senate scored the votes on Tuesday to review a plan for repealing or repealing and replacing what’s come to be known as Obamacare, we saw a mixed-bag reaction from healthcare stocks. Even some of the bulletproof ones, like Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq: AMGN), closed lower from their opening highs.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Biotech stocks have been particularly unloved during the past year, with the iShares Nasdaq Biotech Index ETF (IBB) gaining just 7% to the S&P 500′s 20% rise. Today, however, Amgen (AMGN) is getting a lot of love from the market after releasing Street beating earnings and reporting that its anti-cholesterol drug reduced heart attacks.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Three biotech stocks–Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN), Amgen (AMGN), and Celgene (CELG)–reported earnings since yesterday’s close. But just one has seen its shares head higher after the announcement.

Top 10 Biotech Stocks To Watch For 2018: ArQule Inc.(ARQL)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    ArQule Inc. (NASDAQ: ARQL) dropped about 23% Friday, to post a new 52-week low of $1.13 after closing at $1.47 on Thursday. The stock’s 52-week high is $2.17. Volume was about 15 times the daily average of around 150,000 shares. The biopharmaceutical company said this morning that a phase 3 trial of a cancer drug did not meet the primary endpoint of improving overall survival.