Top 5 Biotech Stocks For 2018

Heart diseasestill claims the lives of around 600,000 Americans every year, and uncontrollable cholesterol plays a big role.EsperionTherapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:ESPR)became oneof2017’s best-performing biotech stocks because it’s developing a drug that could lower this number.

Unfortunately, Esperion recently revealed some disturbing safety data from one of several ongoing late-stage clinical trials. The stock price was quickly cut in half, and there’s still a chance it could come back in a big way.

Does that make this risky biotech a buy on the dip?Let’s weigh opportunities against apparent risks to see if this stock makes sense at its new low price.

Image source: Getty Images.

Reasons to buy

Before Lipitor lost patent protection, it raked in $13 billion annually for Pfizer, and several similar drugs in the statin family were big sellers in their day. This class of drug is usually effective, but unpleasant side effects such as muscle weakness affect most patients to some degree. An estimated 15% of people treated for high cholesterol can’t get their scores low enough with statins because some form of intolerance limits their dosage.

Top 5 Biotech Stocks For 2018: Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc.(ALNY)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Brian Orelli]

    The delay in an FDA decision for Tegsedi puts it behind competitor Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALNY), which expects to hear from the FDA by Aug. 11 for its hATTR drug patisiran. But Sarah Boyce, the president at Akcea Therapeutics, doesn’t think a few months will really matter: “We don’t really feel that’s going to have any impact and the drugs will be close enough together from a launch perspective. So not really [going] to make any adjustments, and we’re very well prepared to be ready to launch following approval.”

  • [By Brian Orelli]

    Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALNY) released first-quarter results last week, but all eyes were looking forward as the company waits for a potential approval of its hereditary TTR amyloidosis (ATTR) drug, patisiran.

Top 5 Biotech Stocks For 2018: Biogen Idec Inc(BIIB)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Brian Feroldi]

    Data source: Alkermes. GAAP = generally accepted accounting principles.

    What happened with Alkermes this quarter?
    Sales of Alkermes’opioid- and alcohol-abuse prevention drug Vivitrol grew 7% to $62.7 million. Sales of the company’sschizophrenia drugAristadarose 62% to $29.2 million. Manufacturing and royalty revenue related toJohnson & Johnson’s schizophrenia drugs jumped 15% to $68.8 million. Manufacturing and royalty revenue related toAcorda Therapeutics’ multiple sclerosis drugfell3% to $28.3 million. Research and development revenue earned as part of its collaboration withBiogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) for BIIB098 — which used to be called ALKS 8700 — was $17.5 million.

    Looking beyond the financials, here’s an overview of the key events from the period:

  • [By Cory Renauer]

    Biotech traders get heaps of attention, but buying promising young drugmakers and holding them for the long term is a far easier way to get rich. Case in point: Spreading $10,000 evenly among shares of Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB),Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG), andGilead Sciences Inc.(NASDAQ:GILD) around this time in 1998 would have made you a millionaire already.

  • [By Brian Orelli]

    Data source: Ionis Pharmaceuticals.

    What happened with Ionis Pharmaceuticals this quarter?
    Revenue increased thanks to $41 million in royalties from Biogen’s (NASDAQ:BIIB) sales of Spinraza, up from just $5 million in the year-ago quarter. Because the tiered royalty rates reset each year, the royalties as a percentage of sales will end up being higher in the quarters to come this year. Despite the higher revenue, earnings turned negative on a GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) basis: Ionis and Akcea Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AKCA) increased spending in preparation for the launch of Tegsedi for hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis (hATTR), and Waylivra for familial chylomicronemia syndrome, a rare disease that causes the buildup of lipids. Ionis is still the majority owner of Akcea, so its financials are incorporated into Ionis’ financials. The Food and Drug Administration pushed back its goal for making a decision on the marketing application for Tegsedi (the new brand name for inotersen) to Oct. 6, 2018. Ionis provided additional data analysis that the FDA needs additional time to review. In April, Ionis signed another deal with Biogen to develop antisense drugs for neurological disorders. In the deal, Ionis gets $1 billion up front, including an equity investment, in exchange for Biogen having first choice of neurology targets on which to exclusively collaborate with Ionis. Biogen is paying for everything beyond the initial discovery stage, with Ionis eligible for royalties and milestone payments as the drugs advance.

    Image source: Getty Images.

  • [By Chris Lange]

    Short interest in Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) decreased to 3.45 million shares from the previous 3.50 million. The stock recently traded at $274.50, within a 52-week range of $244.28 to $370.57.

Top 5 Biotech Stocks For 2018: Amgen Inc.(AMGN)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Keith Speights]

    The way to determine where a puck is going to be requires evaluating its direction and speed. I used a similar approach to identify five stocks with fast-growing dividends: Boeing (NYSE:BA), Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), CVS Health (NYSE:CVS), Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN), and AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV). Here’s why these stocks could be great picks for dividend-seeking investors.

  • [By Keith Speights]

    Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) has been the hands-down winner over Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG) in terms of stock performance over the last year. It’s the same story for revenue generated. Celgene beat Amgen in earnings, but only because of a technicality: Amgen incurred a big one-time tax hit in 2017.

  • [By ]

    Booker’s report took on other companies as well. Pfizer (PFE) , Gilead Sciences (GILD) , AbbVie  (ABBV) , Amgen (AMGN) , Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) , and Mylan NV (MYL) are cited for everything from raising drug prices, to stock buybacks and putting shareholder interest before that of the public.

  • [By ]

    Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) for example, announced FDA approval of its heart-attack prevention therapy on Dec 1. Immediately after, the stock popped 15% in less than two months, moving from $177.20 to $199.

  • [By Cory Renauer]

    Sanofi took the assessment and started engaging end payers to see if any would offer easy reimbursement for a lower net price that reflects ICER’s assessment, and the industry listened. As of July 1, the partners will cut the net price of Praluent in return for straightforward access for around 25 million Americans covered by theExpress Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) national formulary. Thepharmacy benefits manager, and will also remove formulary access for its main competitor, Amgen’s (NASDAQ:AMGN) Repatha.

Top 5 Biotech Stocks For 2018: ArQule Inc.(ARQL)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ethan Ryder]

    Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on ArQule (ARQL)

    For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

  • [By Joseph Griffin]

    ArQule (NASDAQ:ARQL)‘s stock had its “buy” rating restated by equities researchers at Needham & Company LLC in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday, Marketbeat Ratings reports. They currently have a $6.00 price target on the biotechnology company’s stock, up from their prior price target of $5.00. Needham & Company LLC’s price target suggests a potential upside of 134.38% from the company’s previous close.

  • [By Stephan Byrd]

    ArQule, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARQL) Director Ronald M. Lindsay acquired 23,900 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 10th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $2.67 per share, for a total transaction of $63,813.00. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 43,900 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $117,213. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link.