Seven biotechnology stocks are moving up in their overall rating this week, according to the Portfolio Grader database. Every one of these is graded an “A” (“strong buy”) or “B” overall (“buy”).
Best Building Product Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp (TKMR)Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation is a biopharmaceutical company focused on advancing ribonucleic acid (RNA) interference (RNAi) therapeutics and providing its lipid nanoparticle (LNP) delivery technology to pharmaceutical partners. On March 1, 2012, it announced that the Company had secured a license from Alnylam to develop TKMALDH2, an RNAi therapeutic that utilizes Tekmira's LNP for the treatment of Alcohol Dependence (AD). Its lead oncology product candidate, TKM-PLK1, targets PLK1, a protein involved in tumor cell proliferation and a validated oncology target. On February 8, 2012, it announced that Phase I clinical trial for TKM-Ebola had been initiated. The Phase 1 TKM-Ebola clinical trial is a placebo-controlled, single-blind, single-ascending dose study with additional multiple-ascending dose cohorts in healthy human volunteers. In the field of RNAi therapeutics, the Company has licensed its LNP delivery technology to Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Merck & Co., Inc. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Matt Egan]
Tekmira Pharmaceuticals (TKMR) surged 19% on Wednesday, leaving it up a whopping 180% since mid-July. Investors are betting the Vancouver-based company has a leg up on competitors because last month the FDA gave it a green light to provide its experimental TKM-Ebola drug to test subjects with "confirmed or suspected Ebola virus infections."
- [By Ben Rooney]
Canadian biotech firm Tekmira Pharmaceuticals (TKMR)' stock surged in September after the FDA authorized the company's drug for patients with Ebola in the United States. Shares have since pulled back. The company has started limited production of its drug, TKM-Ebola, which will be available in early December.
- [By James E. Brumley]
Did you miss the initial Ebola rally, led by Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ:TKMR) and Lakeland Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:LAKE)? Don't sweat it - you're not alone. And if you were thinking about diving into either of those names now, forget about it. Both LAKE and TKMR are overbought, and are guaranteed to be volatile (read "unpredictable") in the future. It's not too late to get in on Ebola-mania, however.
- [By Markus Aarnio]
Companies working on chemically synthesized siRNAs include Merck (MRK), through its subsidiary Sirna Therapeutics, Inc., Novartis (NVS), Takeda (TKPHF.PK), Kyowa Hakko Kirin, Marina Biotech, Inc., Arrowhead and its subsidiary, Calando, Quark, Silence Therapeutics plc, Tekmira (TKMR), Sylentis and Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Best Biotech Companies To Buy For 2014: Oncolytics Biotech Inc (ONCY)
Oncolytics Biotech Inc. (Oncolytics), incorporated on April 2, 1998, is a development-stage company. The Company is focused on its research and development of REOLYSIN, which is its cancer therapeutic. REOLYSIN is developed from the reovirus. This virus has been demonstrated in tumour cells bearing an activated Ras pathway. Oncolytics is directing a clinical trial program with the focus of developing REOLYSIN as a human cancer therapeutic. The clinical program includes clinical trials, which it sponsors directly along with Third Party Clinical Trials. Third Party Clinical Trials are clinical trials that are being sponsored by other institutions. As of December 31, 2011, the United States National Cancer Institute (NCI), the University of Leeds and the Cancer Therapy & Research Center at the University of Texas Health Center in San Antonio (CTRC) were sponsoring part of its clinical trial program.
The Company�� clinical trial program has included human trials using REOLYSIN alone, and in combination with radiation and chemotherapy, and delivered via local administration and/or intravenous administration. Oncolytics uses contract toll manufacturers to produce REOLYSIN. On December 31, 2011, the Company had two wholly owned subsidiaries, Oncolytics Biotech (Barbados) Inc. (OBB) and Valens Pharma Ltd. Oncolytics Biotech (US) Inc. and Oncolytics Biotech (U.K.) are wholly owned subsidiaries of OBB.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Maxx Chatsko]
T-VEC is not your traditional biologic drug. It is actually a bioengineered form of the herpes virus that, once injected into cancerous tumors, replicates, and produces an immune-stimulating protein that puts a bulls eye on cancer cells throughout the body. Despite its promise and intriguing mechanism of action, T-VEC is not in further development at Amgen. However, Oncolytics (NASDAQ: ONCY ) has shown promising results for its bioengineered form of reovirus called Reolysin. Initial phase 3 results showed that 86% of patients taking the drug had reduced tumor mass or growth after six weeks of treatment. �
- [By John Udovich]
The biotech sector along with small cap biotech stocks Cardiome Pharma Corp (NASDAQ: CRME), Oncolytics Biotech, Inc (NASDAQ: ONCY), Vital Therapies Inc (NASDAQ: VTL) and TNI BioTech (OTCMKTS: TNIB) have all been producing their share of news this week for investors and traders alike to trade on. Moreover and while some 42 ��ife sciences��companies have gone public raising about $3 billion from investors so far this year, there are a growing number of biotechs pulling the plug on upcoming IPOs who are citing market conditions. With that in mind, here is a look at important news from the biotech sector and small cap biotech stocks this week:
Best Biotech Companies To Buy For 2014: Imprimis Pharmaceuticals Inc (IMMY)
Imprimis Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company developing non-invasive, topically delivered products. The Company�� Transdel cream formulation technology is designed to facilitate the effective penetration of a variety of products through the tough skin barrier. Ketotransdel, the Company�� 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 exerts its localized anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect. Transdel is the Company�� 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:
Best Biotech Companies To Buy For 2014: Sanofi(SNY)
sanofi-aventis engages in the discovery, development, and distribution of therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of everyone. The company offers a range of healthcare assets, including a broad-based product portfolio in prescription drugs, OTC/OTX, generics, vaccines, and animal health. It has a strategic alliance with Regulus Therapeutics Inc. to discover, develop, and commercialize micro-RNA therapeutics, initially in fibrosis. The company was founded in 1970 and is headquartered in Paris, France.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Charles Rice, Associate Editor - November 6, 2013 Money Morning]
By acquiring Brazil's Medley Pharmaceuticals in 2009, Sanofi SA (NYSE ADR: SNY) became the largest generic pharmaceutical manufacturer in Latin America. The company holds a 12% market share in Brazil and reported annual revenue for its generics business of around $2.4 billion, a 5% increase over 2011 in constant exchange rates. Sanofi reported 2012 earnings of approximately $46 billion.
Best Biotech Companies To Buy For 2014: 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 include 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��.
The Company�� 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�� synthetic vaccines are designed to prevent a disease (prophylactic vaccines) or treat an existing disease (therapeutic vaccines). Its synthetic vaccine consists of a deoxyribonucleic 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�� synthetic vaccines are designed to generate specific antibody and/or T-cell responses.
The Company�� 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�� 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��ages 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�� 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 VaccinesIn 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�� 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�� VGX-3400X targets 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�� 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.
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 Sean Williams]
No fairytale ending
Fairytale endings work great in the movies, but you rarely see them come to fruition in the real world. Small-cap biopharmaceutical Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NYSEMKT: INO ) has seen shares nearly triple since April on the heels of multiple intriguing studies, but will the glass slipper fit over the long term?
- [By Matt Egan]
Other drug makers rallying on the Ebola headlines include BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (BCRX), Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO) and Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT).