The Week Ahead In Biotech: Johnson & Johnson, Biogen Earnings, Neurology Conference And IPOs

Biotech stocks reversed course in the week ended April 16, with the sector rebounding along with the broader market. The week's news flow was fairly light. The American Association of Cancer Research's annual meeting provided a platform for oncology-focused biopharma companies to present data from their clinical programs.

A negative headline on COVID-19 vaccine, however, marred the week. The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced their recommendation to pause the use of Johnson & Johnson's JNJ COVID-19 vaccine following incidences of severe clots.

J&J's pain turned into  gains for other COVID-19 vaccine companies. Moderna, Inc. MRNA added about 20% during the week, with positive preclinical data on variant-specific COVID-19 vaccines and positive analyst actions adding strength to the rally.

Avenue Therapeutics, Inc. ATXI shares spiked ahead of the PDUFA date for its pain drug. With the company announcing Tuesday it has not heard yet from the FDA and the review is continuing, the shares lost about 42% for the week from Monday's intra-day high of $7.54.

Here are the key catalysts for the unfolding week:


American Academy of Neurology, or AAN, 2021 Annual Meeting (virtual): April 17-22
Bloom Burton & Co. Healthcare Investor Conference: April 20-21

Clinical Readouts/Presentations

AAN Meeting Presentations

Prothena Corporation plc PRTA: results from the Phase 1 study of PRX004 in ATTR amyloidosis, a rare disorder that occurs when there is a buildup of amyloid proteins in the body (Sunday, at 3-4:30 p.m.)

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ALNY: full 9-month results from the HELIOS-A Phase 3 study of vutrisiran, an investigational RNAi drug for treating polyneuropathy of hereditary ATTR amyloidosis, a genetic disorder affecting a protein called transthyretin, produced in the liver (Monday, 2 p.m.)

Standalone Releases

Syndax Pharmaceuticals, Inc. SNDX will host a conference call and live webcast at 8 a.m. on Tuesday to provide updated data from the Phase 1 dose escalation portion of its ongoing Phase 1/2 AUGMENT-101 trial of SNDX-5613 in patients with relapsed or refractory acute leukemias.

Related Link: Why This Bristol-Myers Squibb Stock Analyst Is Turning Bullish On The Pharma Company's Pipeline



Johnson & Johnson (before the market open)
Abbott Laboratories ABT (before the market open)
Intuitive Surgical, Inc. ISRG (after the close)


Biogen Inc. BIIB (before the market open)
Quest Diagnostics Incorporated DGX (before the market open)


IPO Pricing

Mountainview, California-based Neuropace Inc. has filed with the SEC to offer 5.313 million shares in an initial public offering, priced between $15 and $17. The commercial-stage medical device company manufactures brain-responsive neuromodulation system for epilepsy treatment. Neurospace expects to list its common stock on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol NPCE.

Zymergen Inc. is an Emeryville, California-based company that engineers microbes to make novel biomolecules used in various products. The company proposes to offer 13.6 million shares at an estimated price range of $28-$31. The company has applied for listing its shares on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol ZY.

IPO Quiet Period Expiry

Lava Therapeutics B.V. LVTX
Design Therapeutics, Inc. DSGN
Edgewise Therapeutics, Inc. EWTX
Ikena Oncology, Inc. IKNA
Achilles Therapeutics plc ACHL

Related Link: Attention Biotech Investors: Mark Your Calendar For April PDUFA Dates

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

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