Top Biotech Stocks To Watch Right Now

Another day, another CRISPR issue to worry about.

Shares of gene-editing biotechs CRISPR Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CRSP), Editas Medicine (NASDAQ:EDIT), and Intellia Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NTLA) sank on Monday following the publication of a paper identifying the possibility that the use of CRISPR-Cas9 can cause significant unintended gene mutations. All three biotechs are exploring the use of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing approach to treat — and potentially cure — various diseases.

What does this latest potential CRISPR issue mean? And what should you do if you either own shares of the CRISPR-focused biotechs or are thinking of buying these stocks? 

Image source: Getty Images.

Understanding the problem

CRISPR-Cas9 has been touted as the biotech discovery of the century. CRISPR stands for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats. This refers to DNA sequences discovered in certain types of bacteria that read the same forward and backward and are separated by regular stretches of what’s called “spacer DNA” (a kind of DNA that doesn’t provide instructions for building proteins).

Top Biotech Stocks To Watch Right Now: ArQule Inc.(ARQL)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Money Morning Staff Reports]

    But Blink and our other penny stocks to watch are unlikely to continue to lock in such spectacular gains in June. After looking at our 10 top penny stocks to watch this month, we’ll show you a small-cap stock with great profit potential in its future…

    Penny Stock Current Share Price Law Month’s Gain
     Blink Charging Co. (Nasdaq: BLNK) $7.07 439.85%
    Senes Tech Inc. (Nasdaq: SNES) $1.27 175.40%
    Vivis Inc. (Nasdaq: VVUS) $0.77 150.41%
    Adomani Inc. (Nasdaq: ADOM) $1.49 137.68%
    NF Energy Saving Co. (Nasdaq: NFEC) $2.34 134.88%
    Vaalco Energy Inc. (NYSE: EGY) $2.15 109.06%
    Heat Biologics Inc. (Nasdaq: HTBX) $2.35 99.12%
    ArQule Inc. (Nasdaq: ARQL) $4.88 90.74%
    LiqTech International Inc. (NYSE: LIQT) $0.66 85.60%
    Transenterix Inc. (NYSE: TRXC) $3.46 77.84%

    While last month’s gains are tremendous, they also illustrate the inherent dangers that come with investing in penny stocks.

  • [By Logan Wallace]

    BidaskClub upgraded shares of ArQule (NASDAQ:ARQL) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Saturday.

    A number of other research firms have also issued reports on ARQL. Roth Capital upped their price target on ArQule from $5.00 to $6.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 17th. Leerink Swann upgraded ArQule from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a research report on Thursday, April 5th. Zacks Investment Research lowered ArQule from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 4th. ValuEngine upgraded ArQule from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 2nd. Finally, B. Riley set a $4.00 price target on ArQule and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Monday, March 26th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating, The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $4.69.

  • [By Cory Renauer]

    It isn’t unusual for oncology stocks to double in a single day after a company announces clinical trial results. Arqule (NASDAQ:ARQL) stands out among its peers because it notched a 67% gain after reporting a partial remission for just one leukemia patient.

  • [By Stephan Byrd]

    ArQule, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARQL)’s share price rose 6.2% during trading on Thursday . The stock traded as high as $5.21 and last traded at $5.15. Approximately 955,706 shares changed hands during mid-day trading, a decline of 23% from the average daily volume of 1,244,948 shares. The stock had previously closed at $4.85.

  • [By Maxx Chatsko]

    Shares of development-stage biopharma ArQule (NASDAQ:ARQL) rose nearly 17% today after the company announced two appointments to its management team in two newly created positions. Dr. Marc Schegerin will serve as senior vice president, corporate strategy, communication, and finance. Dr. Shirish Hirani will serve as senior vice president, program management and product planning. 

  • [By Joseph Griffin]

    ValuEngine upgraded shares of ArQule (NASDAQ:ARQL) from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report released on Tuesday.

    Several other equities analysts have also issued reports on ARQL. Zacks Investment Research upgraded ArQule from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $2.50 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, March 20th. BidaskClub upgraded ArQule from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Saturday, March 24th. B. Riley set a $4.00 price objective on ArQule and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Monday, March 26th. Leerink Swann upgraded ArQule from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a research report on Thursday, April 5th. Finally, Roth Capital boosted their price objective on ArQule from $5.00 to $6.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 17th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $5.35.

Top Biotech Stocks To Watch Right Now: Amgen Inc.(AMGN)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Cory Renauer]

    The Food and Drug Administration recently approved Aimovig from Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) and Novartis (NYSE:NVS), the first of several high-profile new drug candidates with a similar mode of action. Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries (NYSE:TEVA) and Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) have sent applications for similar drugs to the FDA and Alder’s starting to look like a terrier that showed up to a bullfight. 

  • [By Keith Speights]

    Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) actually have quite a bit in common. They co-market one of the world’s best-selling drugs, Enbrel. They both face some headwinds with declining sales of older drugs. Each company has promising new drugs. And both stocks are up by nearly the same percentage over the last 12 months.

  • [By Chris Lange]

    Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) saw its short interest fall slightly to 10.61 million shares from the previous level of 10.72 million. Shares were last seen at $184.59, in a 52-week trading range of $163.31 to $201.23.

  • [By Chris Lange]

    Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) saw its short interest fall to 9.58 million shares from the previous level of 10.61 million. Shares were last seen trading at $193.15, in a 52-week trading range of $163.31 to $201.23.

Top Biotech Stocks To Watch Right Now: Biogen Idec Inc(BIIB)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Brian Feroldi]

    Data source: Alkermes. GAAP = generally accepted accounting principles.

    What happened with Alkermes this quarter?
    Sales of Alkermes’ opioid- and alcohol-abuse prevention drug Vivitrol grew 7% to $62.7 million. Sales of the company’s schizophrenia drug Aristada rose 62% to $29.2 million. Manufacturing and royalty revenue related to Johnson & Johnson’s schizophrenia drugs jumped 15% to $68.8 million. Manufacturing and royalty revenue related to Acorda Therapeutics’ multiple sclerosis drug fell 3% to $28.3 million. Research and development revenue earned as part of its collaboration with Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) for BIIB098 — which used to be called ALKS 8700 — was $17.5 million.

    Looking beyond the financials, here’s an overview of the key events from the period:

  • [By Keith Speights]

    Surprising only begins to describe the latest clinical study results announced by Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) and its partner, Japanese drugmaker Eisai (NASDAQOTH:ESALY). On July 5, the two companies reported positive topline results from a phase 2 clinical study of experimental Alzheimer’s disease drug BAN2401 at 18 months.

  • [By Logan Wallace]

    Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 24th. The biotechnology company reported $6.05 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $5.93 by $0.12. The firm had revenue of $3.13 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.15 billion. Biogen had a net margin of 23.54% and a return on equity of 37.64%. Biogen’s quarterly revenue was up 11.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $5.20 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that Biogen will post 23.94 earnings per share for the current year.

  • [By Cory Renauer]

    Biogen Inc.’s (NASDAQ:BIIB) Alzheimer’s disease hopeful topped the list last year, but repeated failures with experimental drugs that attack the disease from a similar angle have all flopped. Despite the risk, EvaluatePharma estimates aducanumab’s present value at around $8.4 billion and this figure will rise or fall dramatically when the company reads off results of ongoing pivotal trials, probably in early 2020.

  • [By Brian Feroldi]

    Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) and Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) have a lot in common. They are both hugely successful biotech giants that were founded decades ago. They each have produced stellar returns for their long-term shareholders and crank out copious amounts of cash flow each year.

Top Biotech Stocks To Watch Right Now: Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc.(ALNY)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Keith Speights]

    Speaking of competition, Ionis should have its hands full battling rivals for Tegsedi assuming the drug wins approval. Alnylam (NASDAQ:ALNY) anticipates winning FDA approval for its hATTR drug patisiran within a few weeks. Because the FDA delayed its decision on Tegsedi, Alnylam appears to be in position to reach the market first. In addition to its first-mover advantage, patisiran appears to have an edge over Tegsedi in efficacy and safety based on clinical data for the two drugs. 

  • [By Shane Hupp]

    Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALNY) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a hold rating to a sell rating. According to Zacks, “Although we are pleased with Alnylam’s broad and promising pipeline, we note that most candidates are in their early or mid stages of development. These candidates still have a long way to go before hitting the market. Currently, Alnylam depends heavily on Onpattro for growth. We also note that gaining approval for pipeline candidates has become more difficult now.  However,  In August, Alnylam got a significant boost with the approval of Onpattro (patisiran), a first-of-its-kind RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutic, both in the United States and in Europe, for the treatment of the polyneuropathy of hereditary transthyretin-mediated (hATTR) amyloidosis in adults. This is the first approved candidate for the company and hence should drive revenues. Loss estimates have remained stable ahead of the Q3 earnings release.”

  • [By Todd Campbell]

    Spark Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ONCE) reported its hemophilia A drug significantly reduced bleeding events and the need for prophylactic factor VIII infusions, but investors sold shares on worry that the gene therapy’s safety could be a problem. Investors similarly headed for the exits with Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALNY) after the former scuttled an attempt to sell itself and the latter secured a first-in-class FDA approval. Are these falling stocks worth buying?

  • [By Cory Renauer]

    Staying on top of every new drugmaker takes a lot more time than you probably have. That said, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALNY) and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) shareholders want to keep their eyes on young Eidos and its lead candidate. Here’s why.

  • [By Cory Renauer]

    Anyone who likes a good underdog story will want to keep their eye on Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALNY) and GW Pharmaceuticals PLC (NASDAQ:GWPH) through this year and next as they launch their first products in the U.S. Smaller biotechs have a terrible track record when it comes to launching new drugs on their own, but most analysts expect these companies to buck the trend and propel their recently approved drugs to blockbuster status within a few years.

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