Penny stocks are just one of the hot trends in the stock market this week. Biotech has now become one of the sectors to follow this month. If you look at the Nasdaq Biotech ETF (NASDAQ:IBB), you’ll see what I mean. Kicking off the July 26th session, it hit a fresh 4-month high. The long-overdue rally comes as everything from vaccine stocks to immunotherapy companies take the spotlight heading into August. Among this long list of stocks to watch are several standouts making big breakthroughs.
While Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX), and Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) fight to address the delta variant, there are other areas of biotech gaining ground and offering significant potential for savvy investors. Among the growing hoards of retail traders are those focusing solely on mobile trading.
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This is where you see the millions of users on Robinhood and Webull searching for the best stocks to buy on a given day. Love them or hate them, the next generation of investors has relied upon technology and social media to trade these volatile markets.
Now that broader sectors are pushing higher, this same group of traders is looking for opportunities in sectors that haven’t reached their peak yet. Falling into this category is biotech, and given the strength it has seen over the last 4 months, it may be time to start looking into companies making breakthroughs in their respective fields. Whether they were once penny stocks are long-standing industry leaders, key breakthroughs are becoming a big focus for some of these companies this week.
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Top Biotech Stocks This Week
- GT Biopharma Inc. (NASDAQ:GTBP)
- Translate Bio Inc. (NASDAQ:TBIO)
- Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ORMP)
All of these biotech stocks are actually former penny stocks. But don’t let the cheap prices early on distract from key updates recently. These updates have highlighted milestone developments from both corporate and clinical perspectives.
GT Biopharma Inc. (NASDAQ:GTBP)
Cancer research and treatment development remain an ongoing point of focus in biotech. Among the hundreds of companies working on different platforms, GT Biopharma seems to have uncovered a new generation of potential cancer treatment candidates. Built upon its tri-specific killer engager or “TriKE” platform, GT is finding new ways to attack cancer cells &, in some cases, eradicate them in certain settings (See: Small Cap Biotech Stocks Should Be On Your Watch List In 2021 & Here’s Why).
The company’s lead treatment candidate, GTB-3550, is in clinical phase trials to treat acute myeloma and myelodysplastic syndrome. So far, in its dose-escalation study, 11 patients have completed treatment in Phase 1. According to the company, Patients 5, 7, 9, and 11 experienced 33%, 61%, 63% and 50% reduction in CD33+ AML/MDS bone marrow blast levels, respectively.
In addition to this, to date, GT still has yet to see one patient experienced an adverse event even at the highest dose levels in this cohort, according to CEO Anthony Cataldo. This is not frequently seen in most of the standard treatments currently on the market in commercial form.
These next few weeks could be in focus for the market. One of the main reasons is that the Phase 1 safety portion of this trial is expected to finish up in late August, with published data expected by the end of September. Considering the early progress and near-term potential catalysts, GTBP stock has found itself on watch lists this year. Since the start of 2021, shares are up nearly 70% so far.
Translate Bio Inc. (NASDAQ:TBIO)
Believe it or not, Translate Bio was a former penny stock as well. Back in 2019, TBIO was trading below $5. Though that was the case, this shows the rapid growth that biotech companies can see upon continued progress in their pipeline developments. Specific to Translate, the company works on mRNA therapeutics, mainly in pulmonary diseases. Its lead mRNA program is currently under development for treating cystic fibrosis and is in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial. Aside from that, its relationship with Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY) has resulted in a growing interest in Translate’s pipeline of mRNA candidates.
The two began a Phase 1 clinical trial of an mRNA influenza vaccine back in June. This came shortly after the company reached a %50 million milestone payment under an existing influenza mRNA vaccine program with Sanofi.
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In a statement, Ronald Renaud, chief executive officer, Translate Bio explained, “We believe that mRNA technology could have several advantages for a seasonal flu application including the potential ability to demonstrate robust immune responses based on preclinical data to date, enable antigen specificity within a short timeframe from seasonal virus strain selection, and deploy agile manufacturing capacity. We look forward to evaluating the potential of these mRNA influenza vaccine candidates in this Phase 1 clinical trial.”
Sanofi has also pledged to invest 400 million euros annually in a vaccines R&D facility to advance mRNA vaccines.
Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ORMP)
As far as Oramed is concerned, you don’t have to look too far back to see when this was a penny stock. ORMP shares started in 2021, trading around $4. Since then, the former penny stock has reached new highs of $16.63. This is a level Oramed hasn’t seen in over 5 years.
So what’s become a driving force? The company develops oral drug delivery systems. One of its core pipeline candidates, ORMD-0801, has managed to raise some attention in the market. According to Oramed, this is positions to be the world’s first oral insulin capsule. Furthermore, to support this, the company’s current Phase 3 studies are on pace to complete enrollment before the end of the year.
In addition to this, the company is also undergoing clinical trials for an oral COVID-19 vaccine through its Oravax Medical Inc. venture. These are slated to begin during the second half of the year. To this point, last week, the company announced that clinical trials were starting, first in Israel. The Institutional Review Board in Israel approved the study protocol and is now pending approval from the Israeli Ministry of Health.
“Our vaccine is a particularly strong candidate against the evolving COVID-19 virus due to its unique targeting of three proteins rather than one. With the Delta and other variants proving a challenge to health administrators globally, Oravax’s VLP technology could prove even more important in the effort to combat COVID,” said Nadav Kidron, CEO of Oramed.
Biotech Stocks Are Heating Up In 2021
Whether we’re talking about current or former penny stocks, the goals are the same. Finding early opportunities in emerging companies is important. While the risks are high that clinical trials can fail, other rewards exist for companies that meet or exceed expectations. In this case, it’s important to focus on early trial progress. Monitor key milestone events that demonstrate long-term potential in a company’s pipeline. With so many new treatment platforms under development, there’s plenty to watch when it comes to biotech right now.
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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. Midam has been paid an additional $150,000 for a period from June 2, 2021, to July 1, 2021. This compensation is payment 4 of 12 as part of the Agreement. Midam has been paid an additional $200,000 for a period from July 2, 2021, to August 2, 2021. This compensation is payment 5 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). Click Here For Full Disclaimer