Biotech Stocks Remain A Core Focus For Traders This Year
Penny stocks are well-known for their volatility. In one moment, you can see them gaining hundreds of percentage points. Then the next moment, you see them hitting new lows. Is this the case for all penny stocks? No, but this type of trading activity has captivated the retail portion of the stock market today.
Then again, it isn’t just volatility that these traders are after either. The chances of investing in penny stocks before they become leading companies is another appeal. Look at companies like Novavax (NASDAQ: NVAX) or electric vehicle stocks like Nio Inc. (NYSE: NIO). They traded below $5 per share last year. Yet both now sit much higher after reaching key milestones. In fact, in their own rights, NIO and NVAX stock are mentioned in the same circles as Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) and Pfizer (NASDAQ: PFE) respectively.
What’s the point? Simply put, penny stocks carry plenty of risks, but in many cases, the potential reward stands taller. Where else can you take a few hundred dollars and turn it into several thousand in a short period of time?
Stocks Begin Shining Ahead of June 2021
Regardless of the mixed market action during May, the final days of the month have shown an about-face of sorts. The S&P, Dow, and Nasdaq have made strong attempts to recover from lows earlier in the month.
Furthermore, the rise in reopening efforts has literally opened doors for businesses to get back to work. This includes plenty of healthcare and biotech companies restarting phase trials and research. In this article, we’ll take a look at a few current and former penny stocks to watch before next month.
- GT Biopharma Inc. (NASDAQ: GTBP)
- Heron Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: HRTX)
- Pieris Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: PIRS)
Biotech Stocks To Watch #1: GT Biopharma Inc. (NASDAQ: GTBP)
GT Biopharma has clearly shown how penny stocks can go on to build momentum after reaching significant milestones. In the case of this former penny stock, GTBP up-listed from the OTC to the Nasdaq earlier this year. The biggest focus point for the market and a slew of analysts is GT Biopharma’s TriKE treatment platform. It has built the backbone of the company’s lead drug candidate, GTB-3550, in treating acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes. There’s a current Phase 1/2 trial being conducted on GTB-3550, which has already shown early promise.
The escalation study reported no adverse events even at higher dosing levels in 10 of the current patients in the trial. On a recent conference call, Dr. Jeffrey S. Miller, the company’s Chief Scientific Officer, explained that there is now an 11th patient. No current data was available at the time (playback call can be accessed by clicking here & using Replay Access Code: 10156826). Needless to say, so far, results have come back favorable. For example, Patient 9 received treatment at the 100mcg/kg/day dose level. They achieved a 63.7% reduction in bone marrow blast levels from 22% before therapy to 8% after.
What’s more, this isn’t the only treatment candidate under development. GT Biopharma’s other solid tumor TriKE product candidates will target cancers expressing HER2 (GTB-6550), PD-L1 (GTB-4550), and B7H3 (GTB-5550). These will be evaluated to treat multiple cancers such as breast, lung, gastric, colorectal, and ovarian. Thanks to this robust pipeline and early progress from its lead treatment, the company has attracted interest from analysts, including Roth Capital, B. Riley, and HC Wainwright. All have a Buy on the stock with price targets ranging from $21-$25.
Heron Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: HRTX)
Shares of Heron Therapeutics Inc. have experienced a very volatile year. In June of 2020, HRTX stock was trading as high as $22.19 before plummeting to lows of $12.52. Following a recovery back to the $22 level earlier this year, HRTX stock once again went into a free-fall which took it to lows of nearly $13. While this isn’t technically a penny stock, it has demonstrated a similar level of wild action. It has also emphasized the reason that biotech stocks have become such an attraction to retail traders.
Heading into June, Heron could be one of the biotech stocks to watch, thanks to a recent update. The company announced that the FDA approved its ZYNRELEFTM, also known as HTX-011, for managing post-op pain. Also, Barry Quart, Pharm.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Heron, set a timeline, which has become a focal point for traders. In particular, Quart explained in a press release that “Our existing commercial team will immediately begin working with current accounts to gain formulary access, with full commercial availability expected by July 2021.”
This week the company announced a $150 million financing, which will be earmarked for this commercial launch program. Also, keep in mind that this convertible debt has a conversion price set at $15.267, representing a premium to the current trading levels. Stifel is the most recent among analysts to give its vote of confidence with a Buy rating and $27 price target. Given the timing of its proposed commercial launch and this latest funding round, HRTX could be one of the biotech stocks to watch heading into June 2021.
Biotech Penny Stocks To Watch: Pieris Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: PIRS)
On the penny stocks side of the coin, Pieris Pharmaceuticals has actually mimicked the move that HRTX made this week. PIRS stock surged on May 25th thanks to a big update from the company. Genentech will no begin collaboration with Pieris to discover, develop, and commercialize locally delivered respiratory and ophthalmology therapies. These will take advantage of AnticalinTM technology, which Pieris developed.
The company will receive $20 million as an upfront payment. It’s also eligible to receive more than $1.4 billion (with a ‘B’) in additional potential milestone payments & royalties. If you’re unfamiliar with Genentech, it is a member of the Roche Group (OTC: RHHBY). Stephen S. Yoder, President, and CEO of Pieris pointed out that this adds to the company’s respiratory alliances with major biopharma companies. In 2017, AstraZeneca (NASDAQ: AZN) announced a strategic collaboration in respiratory diseases with Pieris using the AnticalinTM technology platform. AstraZeneca also purchased a $10 million equity stake in Pieris as part of its agreement.
“We remain deeply committed to inhaled biologics, which have already shown benefit in the clinic. We also look forward to pursuing another local application of our technology in ophthalmology, where Genentech has extensive capabilities.”Stephen S. Yoder
Earlier this year, H.C. Wainwright analyst Joseph Pantginis noted that Pieris’ anticalin platform potential. The analyst reiterated his Buy rating on the stock last quarter and set a price target of $9.
Biotech Stocks Are Volatile: Keep That In Mind
No matter how “good” penny stocks are or the companies that underpin the public share price, the biotech & healthcare industries are very volatile. One small hit or miss in a phase trial or 1 slight adjustment to an agreement can spark a big move in the market. While it’s nice to be on the winning end of that move, it’s important to remember that the opposite can be true. Regardless, the groundbreaking developments created by these companies are remarkable. Some of the biggest wins over the last year have come from this high-risk, high-reward area of the market.
Pursuant to an agreement between Midam Ventures LLC and GT Biopharma (GTBP) Midam has been paid $150,000 for a period from March 1, 2021, to April 1, 2021. This compensation is payment 1 of 12 as part of a 12-month agreement between Midam Ventures LLC & GT Biopharma (GTBP), for a period from March 1, 2021, to February 28, 2022. Midam Ventures LLC expects to be paid $150,000 per month for a total of 12 months by GT Biopharma (GTBP). Midam has been paid an additional $150,000 for a period from April 2, 2021, to May 1, 2021. This compensation is payment 2 of 12 as part of the Agreement. Midam has been paid an additional $150,000 for a period from May 2, 2021, to June 1, 2021. This compensation is payment 3 of 12 as part of the Agreement. We may buy or sell additional shares of GT Biopharma (GTBP) in the open market at any time, including before, during, or after the Website and Information, to provide public dissemination of favorable Information about GT Biopharma (GTBP).