Thursday, June 18, 2015

5 Best Biotech Stocks To Watch Right Now

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This week, the overall grades of 16 Oil and Gas stocks are lower, according to the Portfolio Grader database. Each of these rates a “D” (“sell”) or “F” overall (“strong sell”).

Top 10 Consumer Service Companies To Invest In Right Now: Prothena Corporation PLC (PRTA)

Prothena Corporation PLC, incorporated on September 26, 2012, is an Ireland-based, clinical-stage biotechnology company. The Company is engaged in discovering and developing monoclonal antibodies that are directed towards misfolded proteins or improper cell adhesion. Its pipeline includes NEOD001, PRX002 and PRX003. The Company�� work in protein misfolding could result in therapies to treat several neurodegenerative diseases, including AL (primary) and AA (secondary) forms of amyloidosis (NEOD001), Parkinson's disease and related synucleinopathies (PRX002). Its cell adhesion development activities could generate new therapies to treat inflammatory diseases and metastatic cancers (PRX003). The Company�� program, NEOD001, is in Phase 1. In addition to antibodies directed to neo-epitope targets, it is developing antibodies directed to other targets. The Company has generated antibodies against cell adhesion targets expressed on certain pathogenic Th17 immune cells and tumor cells.

The Company�� pipeline also includes several late discovery stage programs for which it is testing antibodies in preclinical models of disease. It is also generating additional antibodies against other targets involved in protein misfolding and cell adhesion for characterization in vivo and in vitro.

NEOD001 for Amyloidosis

NEOD001 is a monoclonal antibody that targets the amyloid that accumulates in both AL and AA forms of amyloidosis. The antibody was designed to not react with normal serum amyloid A and only with the aberrant cleaved form of the protein (amyloid A).

PRX002 for Parkinson�� Disease

The Company has generated antibodies targeting alpha-synuclein that may slow or reduce the neurodegeneration associated with synuclein misfolding and/or transmission. It has tested these antibodies in various cellular and animal models of synuclein-related disease. In a transgenic mouse model of Parkinson�� disease, passive immunization with 9E4, a murine ver! sion of PRX002, reduced the appearance of synuclein pathology, protected synapses and improved performance by the mice in behavioral testing. The humanized antibody product candidate PRX002 has advanced into manufacturing and preclinical testing.

PRX003 for Inflammatory Diseases and Cancers

The Company is developing PRX003, a monoclonal antibody targeting MCAM for the potential treatment of inflammatory diseases and cancers. It has generated monoclonal antibodies that block MCAM-mediated cell adhesion and have been shown to delay relapse and severity of relapse in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis known as experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. The Company�� antibodies are being tested in animal models of inflammatory diseases and cancers. Based on early results from these studies, it has identified a clinical candidate, PRX003. It has advanced this antibody into manufacturing and intends to advance this antibody into preclinical testing.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Prothena Corporation plc (NASDAQ: PRTA) rose 24.40% to $46.23 after the company reported clinical data to be presented at International Symposium on Amyloidosis. Morgan Stanley raised the price target on the stock from $35.00 to $53.00.

  • [By Michael Robinson]

    CSD is also tapping into the biotech boom. Another firm that it holds, and we like, is Prothena Corporation PLC (PRTA), a clinical-stage biotechnology firm focused on Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

5 Best Biotech Stocks To Watch Right Now: Tauriga Sciences Inc (TAUG)

Tauriga Sciences, Inc., formerly Immunovative, Inc., incorporated on April 18, 2001, is a development-stage company. The Company along with Constellation Diagnostics, Inc. (Constellation) focuses on establishing a joint venture partnership to develop and commercialize a imaging-based diagnostic technology for use in predictive and preventative oncology.

The Company has rights to commercialize AlloStim and AlloVax. As of March 31, 2013 the Company did not have any revenues.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Peter Graham]

    Small cap marijuana stocks IMD Companies Inc (OTCMKTS: ICBU), Tauriga Sciences Inc (OTCMKTS: TAUG), ML Capital Group Inc (OTCBB: MLCG) and Lexaria Corp (OTCMKTS: LXRP) are aiming to give investors a high with their latest news. However, only one of these small cap marijuana stocks appears to be the subject of minor paid promotion or investor relations type of activities. So will investors and traders alike get a high off of these small caps? Here is a quick reality check:

5 Best Biotech Stocks To Watch Right Now: Mast Therapeutics Inc (MSTX)

Mast Therapeutics, Inc., formerly ADVENTRX Pharmaceuticals, Inc., incorporated in December 1995, is a development-stage company biopharmaceutical company focused on developing product candidates. The Company's product candidate is ANX-188, a rheologic, antithrombotic and cytoprotective agent that improves microvascular blood flow and has application in treating a range of diseases and conditions, such as complications arising from sickle cell disease. As of December 31, 2011, the Company also is developing ANX-514, a detergent-free formulation of the chemotherapy drug docetaxel. The Company offers ANX-188 (purified poloxamer 188), ANX-514 (docetaxel for injectable emulsion) and Exelbine (vinorelbine injectable emulsion). In April 2011, the Company acquired SynthRx, Inc. In February 2014, Mast Therapeutics Inc completed its acquisition of Aires Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Aires became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mast Therapeutics.

ANX-188 (purified poloxamer 188)

ANX-188 is an aqueous solution of a purified form of poloxamer 188. Poloxamer 188 (P1880, is a nonionic, block copolymer that has been found to improve microvascular blood flow by reducing viscosity, particularly under low shear conditions, and by reducing adhesive frictional forces. The Company�� purified form of P188 (purified P188), which is the active ingredient in ANX-188, was designed to eliminate certain low molecular weight substances present in P188 (non-purified), which is primarily responsible for the moderate to moderately severe elevations in serum creatinine levels (acute renal dysfunction) observed in prior clinical studies of P188 (non-purified). Purified P188 has been evaluated in multiple clinical studies by a prior sponsor, including a 255-patient, phase III study.

ANX-514 (docetaxel for injectable emulsion)

ANX-514 is a detergent-free emulsion formulation of docetaxel, an intravenously-injected chemotherapy drug commonly used to treat solid tumors. Taxotere, a branded form! ulation of docetaxel, is approved to treat breast, non-small cell lung, prostate, gastric, and head and neck cancers. ANX-514 was designed to have clinically comparable release of docetaxel relative to Taxotere while eliminating the presence of polysorbate 80 and ethanol, both of which are used to solubilize docetaxel in the Taxotere formulation. The ANX-514 formulation solubilizes docetaxel using oil droplets consists of a combination of non-toxic excipients. Docetaxel is contained within these oil droplets and can be administered intravenously without using detergents as pharmaceutical vehicles. Once in central circulation, the emulsion is metabolized rapidly, leaving chemically-identical active ingredient to exert its cytotoxic effect. ANX-514 may reduce the incidence and severity of hypersensitivity reactions and delay the onset of fluid retention.

Exelbine (vinorelbine injectable emulsion)

Exelbine is an emulsion formulation of the chemotherapy drug vinorelbine. Navelbine, a branded formulation of vinorelbine, is approved in the United States to treat advanced non-small cell lung cancer as a single agent or in combination with cisplatin, and approved in the European Union to treat non-small cell lung cancer and advanced or metastatic breast cancer.

In August 2011, the Company received a complete response letter from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stating that it could not approve the Exelbine Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) in its present form and that the bioequivalence study would need to be repeated because the authenticity of the drug products used in the bioequivalence trial could not be verified in accordance with FDA standards. However, the Company elected to discontinue independent development of Exelbine and as of December 31, 2011, the Company was seeking a partner or outside investor for the program to complete the necessary bioequivalence study.

The Company competes with GlaxoSmithKline, Provenge and Pfizer.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Lauren Pollock]

    Mast Therapeutics Inc.(MSTX) said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave orphan-drug designation to its MST-188 drug for the treatment of acute limb ischemia, providing a boost for the biopharmaceutical firm. Shares surged.

  • [By Roberto Pedone]


    Mast Therapeutics (MSTX), a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on developing therapies for serious or life-threatening diseases. This stock closed up 2.1% 65 cents per share in Thursday's trading session.


    Thursday's Range: $0.63-$0.67

    52-Week Range: $0.40-$1.10

    Thursday's Volume: 1.11 million

    Three-Month Average Volume: 1.88 million


    From a technical perspective, MSTX spiked modestly higher here right above its 50-day moving average of 61 cents per share with decent upside volume. This stock has been trending sideways and consolidating for the last month, with shares moving between 60 cents on the downside and 72 cents on the upside. Shares of MSTX are now starting to push higher and into range of triggering a big breakout trade above the upper-end of its recent sideways trading chart pattern. That trade will hit if MSTX manages to clear some near-term overhead resistance levels at 68 to 72 cents per share with high volume.


    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MSTX as long as it's trending above some key near-term support at 60 cents per share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.88 million shares. If that breakout materializes soon, then MSTX will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at 80 to 85 cents per share, or even 93 cents per share.


  • [By James E. Brumley]

    A little over a month ago, owning Mast Therapeutics, Inc. (NYSE: MSTX) was nothing but pure misery. Shares plunged from $0.63 to $0.43 in one day, when details of a dilutive public offering were unveiled. As is so often the case though, the market may have overshot with the selling effort that KO's MSTX. Though putting more shares 'out there' mathematically meant existing shareholders would have to share more of the company's upside with newcomers, what's slowly coming to light is that the inflow of new cash is still more advantageous to those prior shareholders; the company would progress little without it.

5 Best Biotech Stocks To Watch Right Now: Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc (ICPT)

Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc., incorporated on September 4, 2002, is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of therapeutics to treat chronic liver diseases utilizing its bile acid chemistry.The Company�� product candidates treat orphan and more prevalent liver diseases for which there are limited therapeutic solutions. The Company�� product candidate, obeticholic acid, or OCA, is a bile acid analog, a chemical substance that has a structure based on a naturally occurring human bile acid. It is developing OCA initially for primary biliary cirrhosis, or PBC, as a second line treatment for patients who have an inadequate response to or who are unable to tolerate standard of care therapy and therefore need additional treatment. The Company is conducting a Phase 3 clinical trial of OCA in PBC, which it calls the POISE trial, that serves as the basis for seeking regulatory approval in the United States and Europe. As of December 19, 2012, the Company completed enrollment of the POISE trial with 217 patients.

The Company�� clinical focus is on the development of OCA, orally administered, first-in-class FXR agonist that has broad liver-protective properties and may a variety of chronic insults to the liver that cause fibrosis, which can eventually lead to cirrhosis, liver transplant and death. The Company owns worldwide rights to OCA outside of Japan and China, where it has licensed the compound to Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, or DSP, and granted it an option to license OCA in certain other Asian countries.The Company is sponsoring an independent study involving more than ten leading PBC centers in North America and Europe, or collectively the Global PBC Study Group, that are pooling their long-term patient data to evaluate the relationship between biochemical and clinical endpoints.

The Company competes with Eli Lilly, Exelixis, Inc., Phenex Pharmaceuticals AG, , Johnson & Johnson, NovImmune SA, Dr. Falk Pharma GmbH, Galmed Medical Researc! h Ltd., Immuron Ltd., Mochida Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., NasVax Ltd. , Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp. Astellas Pharma US, Inc., AstraZeneca, Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Tioga Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Sean Williams]

    For this week's round of "Better Know a Stock," I'm going to take a closer look at Intercept Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ICPT  ) .

    What Intercept Pharmaceuticals does
    Intercept Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing treatments aimed at chronic liver diseases. Specifically, Intercept differentiates itself through the utilization of its proprietary bile acid chemistry. The company's lead compound, known as obeticholic acid, or OCA, recently initiated phase 3 trials for primary biliary cirrhosis and has received orphan drug status from the Food and Drug Administration for this disease, which could ultimately expedite its review process and grant it seven years marketing exclusivity from the date of approval -- assuming it gets approved, of course! OCA is also being tested in a number of other indications.

  • [By Keith Speights]

    No dilution worries here
    Often when a biotech announces a new share offering, its stock will fall because of investor concerns about dilution. There were no worries for Intercept Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ICPT  ) with its recently announced offering, though. Shares jumped 20% for the week.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    In what’s turned into a bad day for biotech stocks, Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT) is among the worst performers.


    Shares of Intercept Pharmaceuticals have dropped 8.3% to $295, lagging the 3.3% drop in the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) and the 4.7% decline in the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI). Gilead Sciences (GILD) has fallen 2.1% to $72.44 and Amgen (AMGN) is off just 1.8% at $121.88.

    Blame SAC’s decision to drastically cut its position and a secondary offering for Intercept’s decline.

    Wedbush’s Liana Moussatos explains the purpose of the secondary offering:

    Intercept raised approximately $183.3MM in a follow-on offering of 600,000 shares at $320/share. We project runway into Q3 2016 from Q3 2015, which covers major milestones, including regulatory review and potential approval of OCA in PBC in 2015…

    Reiterate OUTPERFORM rating and acquisition value of $493. Our acquisition value is calculated by applying a 30% annual discount to our net peak WW revenues for each drug/indication and applying a 1-10x multiple depending on stage of development to reflect risk. Each combination is added in a sum-of-parts to calculate an acquisition value for [Intercept Pharmaceuticals] and projected to the end of 2015 to include the time frame we see for potential acquisition.

    Just expect a heck of a lot of volatility before then.

  • [By John Udovich]

    While Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: ICPT) surged earlier this year and Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc (NASDAQ: ACHN) has surged this week after Merck & Co. Inc (NYSE: MRK) agreed to purchase hepatitis stock�Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: IDIX) at a 239% premium, it seems the herd has realized that small cap Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: CNAT) is also a liver disease stock as shares suddenly surged 56.69% on no apparent company news. But just what is�Conatus Pharmaceuticals and is it worth taking a chance on?

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