Market Overview

The Companies That Led 2017's Biotech Rally

The Companies That Led 2017's Biotech Rally

One of 2017's better performers has been the biotech sector, which turned around after a disappointing 2016. 

Biotech stocks fell steeply early in the year in 2016, weighed down by fears of price control and clampdowns on price gouging. Subsequently, the sector traded in a broad range, showing a lack of direction, before ending the year lower.

The iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (ETF) (NASDAQ: IBB) declined 21.6 percent in 2016 and the SPDR S&P Biotech (ETF) (NYSE: XBI) lost 15.7 percent.

A Strong Comeback

The sector has made a strong comeback in 2017, with an allaying of concerns about drug pricing and the promise that tax repatriation holds for the sector. And President Donald Trump has broached the possibility of loosening FDA regulations. Fundamentally, the sector is on safer ground, with more FDA approvals being issued and legacy products holding up despite generic competition. 

New molecular entities, or NME, approvals total 42 so far this year versus 22 in 2016. NME is a drug that contains no active moiety that has been approved by FDA in any other application submitted under section 505(b) of the Act.

The iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index and the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF have rebounded by 20.51 percent and 38.23 percent, respectively, year-to-date up until Dec. 15. 

In comparison, the S&P 500 Index and the Nasdaq Composite are up 19.52 percent and 28.86 percent, respectively, in the same timeframe.

See also: Attention Biotech Investors: Mark Your Calendar For These December PDUFA Dates

Here are the biotech stocks that were the biggest gainers for the year. 

The list excludes microcaps with market capitalization in the $50 million to $300 million range. Strictly biotech companies were considered for the list, with health care and medical diagnostics companies excluded.

Top Small-Cap Performers 

  • Marinus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: MRNS): +681.2 percent
  • Madrigal Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: MDGL): +453.3 percent
  • AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVEO): +444.4 percent
  • Sangamo Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: SGMO): +436.1 percent
  • Dynavax Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: DVAX): +387.3 percent
  • CymaBay Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: CBAY): +380.9 percent

Top Mid-Cap Performers

  • AnaptysBio Inc (NASDAQ: ANAB): +440.9 percent
  • Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR): +363.7 percent
  • Puma Biotechnology Inc (NASDAQ: PBYI): +219.9 percent
  • SAGE Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: SAGE): +217.9 percent
  • Beigene Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ: BGNE): +208.3 percent
  • bluebird bio Inc (NASDAQ: BLUE): +196.5 percent

Top Large-Cap Performers 

  • Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALNY): +235.4 percent
  • Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ: VRTX): +97.99 percent
  • Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ: ISRG): +74.97 percent
  • AbbVie Inc (NYSE: ABBV): +55.62 percent
  • Novo Nordisk A/S (ADR) (NYSE: NVO): +46.43 percent
  • Grifols SA, Barcelona (NASDAQ: GRFS): +35.22 percent

Top Mega-Cap Performers

  • Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ):  +23.65 percent
  • Novartis AG (ADR) (NYSE: NVS): +16.50 percent
  • Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE): +14.53 percent

Related Link:

ASH 2017 Highlights: Gilead, Novartis, Juno, Bluebird Bio And More


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