As savvy investors know, penny stocks can offer high returns if chosen wisely. These stocks, which trade for less than $5 per share, often represent small companies with high growth potential. But they also carry high risks due to their volatility and low liquidity. This article discusses some of the most active penny stocks this week that have released significant updates this quarter.
We dive into what’s gone on and if there are any potential events to consider in the future. Obviously, the information here will be just a small piece of the puzzle, and additional research is never bad. Since penny stocks have such high risk, it is essential to do your due diligence.
Penny Stocks To Watch
Ardelyx Inc. (ARDX)
One of the hot penny stocks to watch over the last few months was Ardelyx Inc. Share prices have surged from around $0.50 last June to highs of over $4.15 this quarter. The price extension has been powered by Ardelyx and its series of critical milestones. Among these was one that came out right before the start of 2023. Ardelyx reported an FDA committee backed its kidney disease drug candidate and recommended its approval.
The panel voted 10:2 in favor of combining the drug with phosphate binders. Ardelyx’s Xphozah is a standalone therapy for controlling serum phosphorus in chronic kidney disease patients on dialysis. The FDA also granted Ardelyx an appeal for its treatment candidate, Xphozah, and a Complete Response letter for a New Drug Application.
This month, better-than-expected earnings results have continued stoking the bullishness in the stock market. The company saw its Q4 EPS come in at $0.06 compared to a loss per share of 31 cents during the previous year’s Q4. Sales also beat expectations by a wide margin. As a result of the strong performance, analysts have boosted their outlook on the company. Wedbush, for example, upgraded the penny stock to Outperform and raised its price target to $6. Today ARDX stock remains above $4, so that target sits roughly 50% higher at the moment.
Opko Health Inc. (OPK)
Conversely, Opko Health has been in a primarily sideways trend throughout the year. The latest short-term trend saw shares slipping to new 52-week lows of $1 at the end of February. However, this week, the biotech company released an update that seems to have prompted strong optimism in the market.
Opko Health’s ModelX Therapeutics entered an exclusive worldwide license and collaboration agreement with Merck. The two will develop an Epstein-Barr virus vaccine candidate. ModeX and Merck will jointly advance MDX-2201 to an Investigational New Drug application filing. Merck will then be responsible for clinical and regulatory activities and product commercialization. Pre-IND filing activity will be guided by a joint steering committee comprised of representatives from both companies. MDX-2201 uses ModeX’s biologics platform to target multiple Epstein-Barr virus proteins.
“At Merck, we have a proud legacy of developing vaccines, including several that have the potential to help protect against certain types of cancer,” said Tarit Mukhopadhyay, Ph.D., Vice President, Infectious Diseases and Vaccine Discovery, Merck Research Laboratories. “We look forward to working with the ModeX Therapeutics team to apply our experience and expertise to evaluate the potential of MDX-2201 to help protect against EBV infection and other potentially related, conditions.”
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iBio Inc. (IBIO)
Despite a rough end to the year in 2022, iBio has experienced a strong move in the stock market since the beginning of 2023. Thanks to more interest in AI stocks or “ChatGPT stocks,” any stock with those letters (AI) has gotten more attention this quarter. Where iBio, a biotech penny stock, fits into that category is with its platforms, which it develops using AI.
Earlier this quarter, it announced the disclosure of MUC16 as the target of its latest immune-oncology program. iBio’s Interim CEO, Martin Brenner, explained in a related press release, “The targeting of a particular, pathophysiologically relevant, region of MUC16 is a testament to the versatility of our AI technology, as it successfully shows it can be applied to a broad range of targets.”
Something we discussed earlier this month about IBIO stock is that there are other things to keep in mind if this is on your watch list. A recent prospectus filed shows a proposed offering of up to $100,000,000. Whether this presents potential risks of dilution is to be seen.
Rigel Pharmaceuticals (RIGL)
Last year in December, we discussed RIGL stock in the article “5 Penny Stocks To Buy According To Analysts, Price Targets Up To 919%.” The company had just reported earnings results at the time, with total revenues of $22.4 million and third-quarter net product sales of $19.2 million for TAVALISSE®. This is Rigel’s treatment for adult patients with chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) who have had an insufficient response to a previous treatment.
Around the same time, Rigel had contracted with Optime Care to bring its entire suite of patient support service capabilities to support Rigel’s Rezlidhia (olutasidenib). It’s an FDA-approved treatment for patients with relapse or refractory acute myeloid leukemia. The company also began trials of its R289 treatment candidate in lower-risk myelodysplastic syndromes.
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Why does any of this history matter now? Rigel’s latest update on Q4 and full-year 2022 performance also included a business update. In it, Raul Rodriguez, Rigel’s president, and CEO, explained, “2022 was a year of significant accomplishments for Rigel, as we expanded our commercial hematology-oncology portfolio with the approval and launch of REZLIDHIA, an important new treatment option for AML patients. We also continued to strengthen our commercial execution, with TAVALISSE net product sales reaching a record high in the fourth quarter…We are focused on continuing the successful launch of REZLIDHIA in R/R AML, driving sales growth for TAVALISSE in ITP, and advancing our development programs. In 2023, we look forward to further expanding our hematology-oncology portfolio and clinical pipeline.”
Against this backdrop, RIGL stock has continued trading higher in the stock market this week.
List Of Biotech Penny Stocks To Watch
- Ardelyx Inc. (NASDAQ: ARDX)
- Opko Health Inc. (NASDAQ: OPK)
- iBio Inc. (NASDAQ: IBIO)
- Rigel Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: RIGL)