Top Biotech Companies To Invest In Right Now

For the past year, crude oil prices have generally traded in a band between about $85 per barrel on the low side and approaching $100 on the high side. Barring major economic or geopolitical disruptions, it appears safe to assume that black gold is unlikely to stray far from that range for the remainder of 2013.

Oil and gas producers cherish that sort of stability as they plan for their future exploration and production activities. For that reason, among others, I continue to believe that the energy sector will remain one of the more attractive groups during this year and beyond. As such, I have three especially solid energy companies that I believe Fools should consider carefully as they select the energy components of their investment portfolios.

Denbury Resources (NYSE: DNR  )
Plano, Texas-based Denbury represents a truly unique way to play the strength in the U.S. oil and gas markets. The company utilizes a process called carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (CO2 EOR), or tertiary recovery, to produce oil from wells that otherwise might have seen their last days. Through the process, carbon dioxide is injected under high pressure into the otherwise spent wells, thereby facilitating production of large percentages of the remaining oil.

Top Biotech Companies To Invest In Right Now: Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (INO)

Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., incorporated on June 29, 1983, is engaged in the development of a new generation of vaccines, called synthetic vaccines, focused on cancers and infectious diseases. The Company’s SynCon technology enables the design of universal vaccines capable of providing cross-protection against existing or changing strains of pathogens, such as influenza and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The Company’s electroporation delivery technology uses brief, controlled electrical pulses to increase cellular uptake of the vaccine. Its clinical programs include cervical dysplasia (therapeutic), avian influenza (preventive), prostate cancer (therapeutic), leukemia (therapeutic), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV vaccines. It is advancing preclinical research and clinical development for a universal seasonal/pandemic influenza vaccine, as well as preclinical work for other products, including malaria and prostate cancer vaccines. Its partners and collaborators incl ude University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, National Microbiology Laboratory of the Public Health Agency of Canada, Program for Appropriate Technology in Health/Malaria Vaccine Initiative (PATH/MVI), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Merck, ChronTech, University of Southampton, United States Military HIV Research Program (USMHRP), the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) and HIV Vaccines Trial Network (HVTN). As of December 31, 2011 it owned 16.1% interest in VGX Int’l.

Inovio’s Solution

The Company’s synthetic vaccine platform consists of its SynCon vaccine design process and electroporation delivery technology. It has developed a preclinical and clinical stage pipeline of vaccines. The Company’s synthetic vaccines are designed to prevent a disease (prophylactic vaccines) or treat an existing disease (therapeutic vaccines). Its synthetic vaccine consists of a deo xyribonucleic acid (DNA) plasmid encoding a selected antigen! (s), which is introduced into cells of humans or animals with the purpose of evoking an immune response to the encoded antigen. The Company’s synthetic vaccines are designed to generate specific antibody and/or T-cell responses.

The Company’s SynCon technology provides processes that employ bioinformatics, which combine extensive genetic data and sophisticated algorithms. Its design process uses the genetic make-up of a common antigen(s) from multiple strains of a virus within a viral sub-type or taxonomic group (family) of pathogens, such as HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV), human papillomavirus (HPV), influenza and other diseases to synthetically create a new antigen for the desired pathogen target that does not exist in nature. Its synthetic vaccine candidates are being delivered into cells of the body using its electroporation (EP) DNA delivery technology.

Cancer Synthetic Vaccines

The Company has two broad types of cancer vaccines : preventive (or prophylactic) vaccines, which are intended to prevent cancer from developing in healthy people, and treatment (or therapeutic) vaccines, which are intended to treat an existing cancer by strengthening the body’s natural defenses against the cancer. Two types of cancer preventive vaccines are available in the United States. The United States Food and Drug Administration (the FDA) has approved two vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix that protect against infection by the two types of HPV-types 16 and 18-that cause approximately 70% of all cases of cervical cancer worldwide. In addition, Gardasil protects against infection by two additional HPV types, 6 and 11, which are responsible for about 90% of all cases of genital warts in males and females but do not cause cervical cancer.

Cervarix manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, is composed of virus-like particles (VLPs) made with proteins from HPV types 16 and 18. Cervarix is approved for use in females’ a ges 10 to 25 for the prevention of cervical cancer caused by! HPV type! s 16 and 18. Gardasil manufactured by Merck, is approved for use in females for the prevention of cervical cancer, and some vulvar and vaginal cancers, caused by HPV types 16 and 18 and for use in males and females for the prevention of genital warts caused by HPV types 6 and 11. The vaccine is approved for these uses in females and males ages 9 to 26. The FDA has also approved a cancer preventive vaccine that protects against hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.

Inovio’s VGX-3100 is designed to raise immune responses against the E6 and E7 genes of HPV types 16 and 18 that are present in both pre-cancerous and cancerous cells transformed by these HPV types. E6 and E7 are oncogenes that play an integral role in transforming HPV-infected cells into cancerous cells. In March 2011, it initiated a randomized, double-blind Phase II study of VGX-3100 delivered using the CELLECTRA intramuscular electroporation device in women with HPV Type 16 or 18 and diagnosed with, but not yet treated for, cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 2/3. The study is designed to enroll 148 subjects. In January 2011, it announced the publication of a scientific paper in the journal Human Vaccines detailing potent immune responses in a preclinical study of its SynCon vaccine for prostate cancer targeting two antigens, prostate specific antigen (PSA) and prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA).

In January 2011, the Company announced the regulatory approval of a Phase II clinical trial (WIN Trial) to treat leukemia utilizing its new ELGEN 1000 automated vaccine delivery device. The single dose level, Phase II study, called WT1 immunity via DNA fusion gene vaccination in haematological malignancies by intramuscular injection followed by intramuscular electroporation. Cancer Vaccines encodes for hTERT, an antigen related to non-small cell lung, breast and prostate cancers. The vaccine is delivered using its electroporation delivery technology.

Infectious Disease Synthetic Vaccines

In Marc! h 2011, the Company announced the initiation of a follow-on open label, single dose Phase II clinical study in collaboration with ChronTech of the ChronVac-C HCV DNA vaccine delivered using its electroporation technology in treatment naive HCV infected individuals. Its HIV vaccines consist of candidates for HIV prevention, as well as therapy or treatment. PENNVAX-B is designed to target HIV clade B (most commonly found in the United States, North America, Australia and the European Union (EU). PENNVAX-G is designed to target HIV clades A, C and D, which are more commonly found in Asia, Africa, Russia and South America. This Phase I clinical study of PENNVAX-B (HVTN-080) vaccinated 48 healthy, HIV-negative volunteers to assess safety and levels of immune responses generated by Inovio’s PENNVAX-B vaccine delivered with its CELLECTRA electroporation device. PENNVAX-B is a SynCon vaccine that targets HIV gag, pol, and env proteins.

The Company’s VGX-3400X targe ts H5N1. The vaccine consists of three distinct DNA plasmids coded for a consensus hemagglutinin (HA) antigen derived from different H5N1 virus strains; a consensus neuraminidase (NA) antigen derived from different N1 sequences; and a consensus nucleoprotein (NP) fused to a small portion of the m2 protein (m2E) based on a broader cross-section of influenza viruses in addition to H5N1 and H1N1. Conventional vaccines are strain-specific and have limited ability to protect against genetic shifts in the influenza strains they target. They are therefore modified annually in anticipation of the next flu season’s new strain(s). It is focused on developing DNA-based influenza vaccines able to provide broad protection against known as well as newly emerging, unknown seasonal and pandemic influenza strains.

Animal Health/Veterinary

VGX Animal Health, Inc. (VGX AH), a majority-owned subsidiary, has licensed LifeTide, a plasmid-based growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) technology for swine. LifeTide is one of onl! y four DN! A-based treatments approved for use in animals and is the only DNA-based agent delivered using electroporation that has been granted marketing approval (Australia). VGX AH is also developing a GHRH-based treatment for cancer and anemia in dogs and cats. It is developing a synthetic vaccine for foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) administered by its vaccine delivery technology. The FMD virus is one of the most infectious diseases affecting farm animals, including cattle, swine, sheep and goats, and is a serious threat to global food safety.

The Company competes with Crucell N.V, Sanofi-Aventis, Novartis, Inc., GlaxoSmithKline plc, Merck, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Inc., Novartis, Inc., MedImmune and CSL.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: INO) was also up, gaining 10.53 percent to $3.57 after the company received the “Best Theraputic Vaccine” award at the World Vaccine Congress after the close Wednesday.

  • [By MONEYMORNING]

    Inovio Zooms: We recommended biotech Inovio Inc. (NYSE: INO) at 71 cents a share back on Feb. 1, 2013, and have re-recommended it a number of times since. With their 15.2% gain yesterday, the shares are now at $3.71, up 414% from where we first told you about them – and we believe there’s more to come. In fact, we’ll be bringing you an interesting update on this company very soon. Inovio is one of 24 recommendations that have doubled or better since we launched Private Briefing back in August 2011

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Equities Trading DOWN
    Shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: INO) were down on Friday’s session, falling 13.28 percent to $2.488 despite seemingly little news on the company.

  • [By George Budwell]

    Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NYSEMKT: INO  ) develops DNA-based vaccines and delivers them using a proprietary electroporation technique. Shares of Inovio have been a roller coaster all year long, and have certainly been the playground of day traders. Last week, Inovio shares lost more than 10% of their value on heavy volume, suggesting the stock may continue to experience downward pressure. This rapid move downward is surprising because the company recently signed a licensing deal with Roche (NASDAQOTH: RHHBY  ) to commercialize Inovio’s multi-antigen DNA immunotherapies for prostate cancer and hepatitis B. As part of the deal, Inovio received $10 million upfront, and milestone payments could go as high as $412 million.

Top Biotech Companies To Invest In Right Now: Rosetta Genomics Ltd (ROSG)

Rosetta Genomics Ltd., incorporated on March 9, 2000, is seeking to develop and commercialize diagnostic tests based on discovered group of genes known as microRNAs. The Company has established a clinical laboratory improvement amendment (CLIA)-certified laboratory in Philadelphia, which enables it to develop, validate and commercialize its own diagnostic tests applying its microRNA technology. In July 2011, the Company launched its fifth product – miRview lung. As of December 31, 2011, the Company launched five tests based on its five microRNA technologies: miRview mets; miRview mets2; miRview squamous; miRview meso, and miRview lung.

Rimonim Consortium

In January 2011, the Company joined the Rimonim Consortium, which is supported by the Office of the Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor of the State of Israel, or the OCS. The purpose of the consortium is to develop RNA interference, or RNAi, -based therapeutics.

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Rosetta Green

Rosetta Green Ltd. is an Israeli subsidiary of the Company, which was established to leverage its capabilities into the areas of cleantech and plant biotech by using its microRNA technologies to develop plants and algae more suitable for various applications, such as feedstocks for biofuels and agriculture. Research at the Rosetta Green project has been shown to develop algal strains with oil content, to discover potential novel microRNAs from commercially-important algae and to identify drought-regulated microRNAs in plants.

The Company competes with Pathwork Diagnostics, Inc., Biotheranostics, Inc., Combimatrix Corporation, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Asuragen Inc., Exiqon A/S, Life Technologies Corporation, Isis Pharmaceuticals, Merck & Co., Inc., Santaris Pharma A/S, and Regulus Therapeutics.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    On Tuesday, small cap cancer diagnostic stock Myriad Genetics, Inc (NASDAQ: MYGN) jumped 11.42% in one day, meaning its worth taking a closer look at the stock along with the performance of small cap cancer diagnostic stocks like Rosetta Genomics Ltd (NASDAQ: ROSG) and Genomic Health, Inc (NASDAQ: GHDX) plus mid cap diagnostic stock Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE: DGX). I should mention that we have had Myriad Genetics in our SmallCap Network Elite Opportunity (SCN EO) portfolio since February 5th and we are already up 18.50% – a nice return in just two weeks time.

  • [By Anthony Mirhaydari]

    For now, I continue to recommend investors maintain a cautious stance, focusing on the buying interest coming into safe-haven assets like U.S. Treasury bond and precious metals while booking profits in biotech stocks that have been red hot this month. The leveraged Direxion 3x Treasury Bond Bull (TMF) is up nearly 7% in my Edge Letter Sample Portfolio since it was added on Jan. 10. I just sold Tower Hill Mines (THM) and Rosetta Genomics (ROSG) for gains of 46% and 18% respectively.

  • [By John Udovich]

    The National Cancer Institute estimates that about ten million Americans have or have had some form of cancer with the overall costs of the disease topping $126 billion annually – meaning there is a big market for small cap cancer diagnostic stocks like Rosetta Genomics Ltd. (NASDAQ: ROSG), Genetic Technologies Limited (NASDAQ: GENE) and MetaStat Inc (OTCBB: MTST) just in the US alone without considering global cancer figures. After all, catching and doing something about cancer early on is critical to increase survival rates and bring down the cost of treatment. With that in mind, here are three small cap cancer diagnostic stocks helping to lead the fight to diagnose and stop cancer:

Top Biotech Companies To Invest In Right Now: Imprimis Pharmaceuticals Inc (IMMY)

Imprimis Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company developing non-invasive, topically delivered products. The Company’s Transdel cream formulation technology is designed to facilitate the effective penetration of a variety of products through the tough skin barrier. Ketotransdel, the Company’s lead pain product, utilizes the Transdel platform technology to deliver the active drug, ketoprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), through the skin directly into the underlying tissues where the drug exerts its anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. Ketotransdel consists of a transdermal formulation of ketoprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), and its Transdel drug delivery system and is being developed for the treatment of acute pain. In July 2013, it acquired intellectual property for IPI-120 from Buderer Drug Company.

Ketotransdel penetrates the skin barrier to reach the targeted underlying tissues where it ex erts its localized anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect. Transdel is the Company’s transdermal cream drug delivery platform. It consists of a cream that enables transdermal penetration of drugs avoiding first pass metabolism by the liver and minimizing systemic exposure. The Transdel drug delivery system facilitates the effective dissolution and delivery of a drug across the skin barrier to reach targeted underlying tissues.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    So far this year, Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, Inc (NYSEMKT: RNN), Imprimis Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: IMMY) and Arrowhead Research Corp (NASDAQ: ARWR) are up 186.3%, 157.2% and 142.5%, respectively, since the start of the year – making them the best performing small cap biotech stocks for 2014. But given their lackluster performance over the past few years, what is the secret behind their phenomenal 2014 rise and will they keep rising? For starters, none of these small caps have really produced anything in the way of blockbuster news:

  • [By John Udovich]

    The start of 2014 shows that biotech is still a hot area with the sector along with small cap biotech stocks like AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc (NASDAQ: AMAG), Mast Therapeutics Inc (NYSEMKT: MSTX), Cell Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: CTIC), Imprimis Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: IMMY) and TNI BioTech (OTCMKTS: TNIB) producing news or returns plus Auspex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ASPX), Cara Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CARA), Egalet (NASDAQ: EGLT), Flexion Therapeutics (NASDAQ: FLXN) and Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ: RARE) are among the (many…) planned biotech IPOs that have recently been announced publicly:

Top Biotech Companies To Invest In Right Now: Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc (CNAT)

Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc., incorporated on July 13, 2005, is a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of medicines to treat liver disease. The Company is developing its lead compound, emricasan, for the treatment of patients in orphan populations with chronic liver disease and acute exacerbations of chronic liver disease. The Company has designed a clinical program to demonstrate the therapeutic benefit of emricasan across the spectrum of fibrotic liver disease. The Company’s initial development strategy targets indications for emricasan with high unmet clinical need in orphan patient populations, such as patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF), chronic liver failure (CLF), and patients who have developed liver fibrosis post-orthotopic liver transplant due to Hepatitis C virus infection (HCV-POLT).

The Company has completed two placebo-controlled Phase II trials in patients with liver disease showing reductions in ALT levels that occur rapidly, within as little as one day after initiation of therapy, and are maintained throughout the treatment period. In the Company’s 204-patient Phase 2b trial, it also measured cCK18, an important biomarker of apoptosis and disease severity. Emricasan has been generally well-tolerated in all of the clinical studies. As of July 23, 2013, the Company had not generated any revenue.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lauren Pollock]

    Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s(CNAT) shares jumped 26% to $7.75 premarket after the biotechnology firm said its treatment for chronic liver disease has been granted a status that could mean quicker approval.

Top Biotech Companies To Invest In Right Now: 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).

Top Biotech Companies To Invest In Right Now: Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc (ORMP)

Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc., incorporated on March 10, 2011, is a development-stage pharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in the research and development of pharmaceutical solutions, including an orally ingestible insulin capsule or tablet to be used for the treatment of individuals with diabetes, use of orally ingestible capsules, tablets or pills for delivery of other polypeptides. The Company owns oral dosage form drug portfolio, it is, on an on-going basis, considering in-licensing and other means of obtaining additional technologies to complement and/or expand the product portfolio. The Company’s products include ORMD-0801 – Oral Insulin Capsule and ORMD-0901 – Oral Exenatide.

The Company focuses to conduct research and development on the technology covered by the patent application Methods and Composition for Oral Administration of Proteins. Through its research and development efforts, it focuses to develop an oral dosage form that will with stand the chemical environment of the stomach and intestines and will be effective in delivering active insulin for the treatment of diabetes. It intends to conduct the clinical trials to file an Investigational New Drug (IND), application with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It also focuses to conduct research and development by deploying its drug delivery technology for the delivery of other polypeptides in addition to insulin, and to develop other pharmaceutical products.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Oramed Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ORMP) shares moved up 15.68% to $17.85. The volume of Oramed Pharmaceuticals shares traded was 971% higher than normal. Oramed received patent allowance in Israel, Australia for platform technology in oral delivery of proteins.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Oramed Pharmaceuticals (ORMP) has dropped 19% to $12.11 after the company said it would sell nearly 1.6 million shares of stock for $10 a share.

    BP plc (BP) has fallen 0.7% to $47.24 after a U.S. judge refused its request to revise the way damages from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are calculated.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Oramed Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ORMP) shares moved up 21.26% to $14.20. The volume of Oramed Pharmaceuticals shares traded was 621% higher than normal. Oramed shares have jumped 187.01% over the past 52 weeks, while the S&P 500 index has gained 28.75% in the same period.