Are Biotech Stocks On Your Watch List Right Now?
Whether you’re talking about penny stocks or higher-priced stocks, there are plenty of things to factor in before deciding to buy. In short, industry trends can play a leading role. Thanks to new developments involving biotech companies, industry stocks have begun to reclaim some of what they’ve lost earlier this week.
New coronavirus cases have both negatively and positively impacted the market this week. Now, heading into the second half of August, it looks like the momentum has come back into biotech.
Take a look at benchmark ETFs like the Nasdaq Biotech ETF (NASDAQ: IBB). Following a 2-day slide after reaching record highs on August 10th, the IBB ETF has bounced strongly. The S&P Healthcare ETF (NYSE: XLV) has also mounted a stronger recovery on August 12th. Major headlines are what traders are pointing at as underlying catalysts for these uptrends.
First, coronavirus headlines have helped give a boost to vaccine stocks. The World Health Organization announced plans to test 3 new potential treatments for hospitalized COVID patients. Furthermore, talk of the FDA planning to authorize a third dose of a vaccine for those with weakened immune systems has also helped give a “booster” to related companies.
Not All About Vaccine Stocks
But it isn’t all about vaccine stocks today. What I would call “more traditional” biotech companies have also become underlying catalysts for positive sentiment. For instance, Merck (NYSE: MRK) has released news that placed a spotlight on oncology treatment stocks on Thursday. This week, the drugmaker announced that its lead cancer treatment, Keytruda plus LENVIMA, was approved by the FDA. This combination is now a first-line treatment of adult patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma.
“KEYTRUDA plus LENVIMA significantly reduced the risk of disease progression or death versus sunitinib,” said Dr. Robert Motzer, Jack and Dorothy Byrne Chair in Clinical Oncology, Kidney Cancer Section Head, Genitourinary Oncology Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
For instance, GT Biopharma Inc. (NASDAQ: GTBP) has experienced a pivotal year this year thanks to its oncology treatment pipeline advancements. GT’s drug candidates have demonstrated early potential for targeted treatments based on its novel tri-specific killer engager or “TriKE” treatment platform. In this case, GT has developed therapies that utilize the body’s own cells to increase cancer cell killing activity exponentially. For instance, its lead treatment, GTB-3550, is in development for treating acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome. This treatment is currently in Phase I/II clinical trials.
Targeted Treatments Demonstrate Early Potential
GT’s GTB-3550 has demonstrated preferential proliferation of natural killer cells via targeted delivery of what is known as IL-15 to NK cells via the GTB-3550 TriKE. In particular, IL-15 has been shown to enhance anti-tumor immunity. Specifically, early data in its GTB-3550 study showed reduced cancer cell burden and bone marrow blast levels. Better yet, this was observed at multiple dose levels. Right now, those looking at GT Biopharma have several things to keep track of.
First, the company reporting its second-quarter results this week. But that may be just the start. August and September could be important months for GT’s pipeline. The company expects its Phase 1 safety portion of the current GTB-3550 study to conclude this month with a data publication currently scheduled for September.
The study doesn’t only have retail traders watching GTBP stock right now. Analysts are also anxious to see this first round of info. After boosting its price target to $26, B. Riley analysts said, “We are encouraged by the mounting evidence of clinical activity and the emerging safety profile of lead asset GTB-3550…With the dose-escalation portion of the trial expected to complete towards the end of August 2021, we are raising our probability of success for GTB-3550 in CD33+ acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and higher-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (HR MDS) from 25% to 30%, with a commensurate increase in our 12-month price target.” Read Full Analyst Report Here.
With companies like Merck shedding more light on the potential of targeted cancer treatments, other companies, including GT Biopharma, have gained momentum this year.
More Vaccine Stocks To Watch
You also can’t ignore the mounting attention stemming from other areas of biotech. In this case, vaccine stocks continue to grow in popularity. Thanks to new variants and additional commentary from the CDC and WHO, related companies have found a place in the spotlight. Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), BioNTech (NASDAQ: BNTX), and Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) aren’t the only stocks to watch right now.
For instance, Dynavax Technologies (NASDAQ: DVAX) has been one of the biotech stocks discussed over the last few weeks. Aside from its lead treatment for hepatitis-b, the company has also begun rolling out its CpG 1018 adjuvant. Now, if you’re unfamiliar, adjuvants are essentially an “ingredient” used in some vaccines. These are designed to help create stronger immune responses and, more or less, work better. In this case, Dynavax’s CpG 1018 has attracted plenty of attention from vaccine development companies.
In fact, the company has commercial supply agreements with companies, including Biological E and Clover Biopharmaceuticals. Both plan to use the adjuvant in the commercial production of their respective coronavirus vaccine candidates. Organizations have also been after Dynavax’s CpG 1018 adjuvant. For instance, The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations expanded its agreement with the company to provide funding to manufacture CpG 1018 for the Coalition’s COVID-19 vaccine grantees. The total funding was increased from $99.0 million to $176.4 million.
Other Candidates Continue Emerging
Other vaccine stocks and immunotherapy companies have also begun to gain momentum. Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: INO) has steadily climbed for the better part of the last 3 months thanks to recent pipeline progress. In June, the company had expanded its partnership with Advaccine Biopharmaceuticals Suzhou to conduct a Phase 3 segment of a trial called INNOVATE. The goal is to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the company’s INO-4800 in COVID patients. The treatment was already shown to be well tolerated and immunogenic in tested age groups in a Phase 2 study.
This month Inovio announced that it and Advaccine received a regulatory allowance for 2 heterologous prime-boost clinical trials in China using INO-4800. “VID-19. If approved, we believe INO-4800 will be well-positioned to serve the vaccine needs of the global community as both a primary and a booster vaccine due to its tolerability, balanced cross-reactive immune responses, and strong thermostability profile that does not require cold or ultra-cold-chain transport,” said Dr. J. Joseph Kim, President, and CEO of INOVIO.
Start Watching Biotech Stocks In 2021
If you’re looking for emerging trends in the stock market this year, biotech can easily be one to watch. There’s a constant flow of new developments, breakthroughs, and industry catalysts to take into consideration. Certain industries only offer a limited amount of catalysts. These might be things like earnings or generally broader-sweeping industry events.
There are so many conferences, rounds of data to present, and news from industry leaders that can play a larger role in stoking interest in biotech. This makes biotech one of the most exciting areas in the stock market to look for new opportunities. Considering the mix of vaccine news and advancements in other areas of biotech like oncology, this could be a valuable industry to watch right now.
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 July 29, 2021. This compensation is payment 5 of 12 as part of the Agreement. Midam has been paid an additional $200,000 for a period from July 29, 2021, to September 2, 2021. This compensation is payment 6 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.