Jul 20, 2021 (StockMarket.com via COMTEX) -- Top Biotech Stocks For Your Watchlist This Week
Stocks around the world have been seeing some volatility lately on fears of the delta coronavirus variant affecting the economic recovery. That said, this brought the attention back to biotech stocks in the stock market. While the broader stock market shows signs of weakness, some of the top gainers in this week belong to the biotech industry. After all, they are usually more dependent on any new progress in the company's clinical trials than market sentiments.
We need to look no further than NRx Pharmaceuticals ( NASDAQ: NRXP ) that soared by nearly 30% this week. It was driven by the news of the company's ZYESAMI(TM) showing evidence that it helps prevent the spike in cytokine count in patients with COVID-19. This matters because it affects the mortality in patients affected by the virus. So, could it be the next Novavax ( NASDAQ: NVAX ), which showed over 2000% gains in 2020? Without further ado, let us review some of the top biotech stocks in the stock market this week.
Best Biotech Stocks To Watch This Week
Moderna Inc ( NASDAQ: MRNA )
Kymera Therapeutics Inc ( NASDAQ: KYMR )
Johnson & Johnson ( NYSE: JNJ )
Cytokinetics, Inc ( NASDAQ: CYTK )
First, we have one of the pioneers in developing the COVID-19 vaccine, Moderna. In detail, the company engages in transformative medicines based on messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA). It is pursuing mRNA science to minimize the unwanted activation of the immune system and to maximize the potency of mRNA. The company's stock has been back in focus recently. It has risen over 50% just within the past month.
With the rising concern of the COVID-19, the government of Argentina has agreed upon a supply agreement for 20 million doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine earlier this month. Also, any updated variant booster vaccine candidate will be rolled out if authorized. We will see the delivery commence in the first quarter of 2022. Safe to say, Moderna's coronavirus vaccine is still in high demand as we strive to eradicate this pandemic.
The company will be announcing its second-quarter earnings report on August 5. It may not be realistic to expect the same level of growth as the first quarter. But, investors will still be keen to see if Moderna could maintain or improve upon its exceptional first-quarter figures. For the first quarter, revenue was an impressive $1.94 billion, compared to a mere $8.4 million the prior year. Meanwhile, its net income totaled $1.22 billion. What's more, the company will join the S&P 500 on Wednesday. Would you consider MRNA stock a top biotech stock to watch?
Kymera Therapeutics Inc
Following that, we have the biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Massachusetts, Kymera Therapeutics. Essentially, the company focuses on discovering and developing novel small molecule therapeutics that selectively degrade disease-causing proteins. KYMR stock has been showing positive signs of recovery over the past month, netting gains of over 15%. So, let us see what could be the catalyst for this price action.
Last week, the company announced new preclinical data showing the potential of its STAT3 degraders for the treatment of peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) with aberrant STAT3 activation. Kymera has shown that its STAT3 degraders are able to achieve greater than 90% degradation of mutant as well as wild-type STAT3. Hence, it could result in downregulation of STAT3-dependent genes and broad antitumor activity across both T-cell and T-cell subtypes of PTCL. This is significant as STAT3 has long been considered an "undruggable" target.
Furthermore, there were also positive interim results from its Single Ascending Dose (SAD) portion of its Phase 1 clinical trial of KT-474. It has achieved and exceeded the Phase 1 target degradation of 85% within the SAD portion of the phase 1 trial dosed to date. There was also profound IRAK4 degradation after a single oral dose that lasted for at least six days at all dose levels. This puts KT-474 as a potentially best-in-class anti-inflammatory oral agent. So, with all these positive developments in mind, would you add KYMR stock to your watchlist?
Johnson & Johnson
Next, we have another major player in the development of COVID-19 vaccines in Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). For those unfamiliar, the company engages in the research and development, manufacture, and sale of a range of products in the healthcare field. JNJ stock has been trading sideways since the start of the year. That said, with investors shifting their focus back on the vaccination companies, JNJ stock could be back in the limelight.
Earlier this month, JNJ announced data demonstrating its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine generated strong, persistent activity against the rapidly spreading Delta variant and other variants. In addition, the data showed that the durability of the immune response lasted for at least eight months. Any positive development on this front is welcome at this point, seeing as how cases are still rising despite extensive vaccination rollouts.
Tomorrow, JNJ will be announcing its second-quarter financial update. So, let us take this opportunity to review its first-quarter performance to gauge what to expect. For its first quarter, sales came in at $22.3 billion, reflecting a growth of 7.9% year-over-year. Also, net profit was $6.19 billion, representing an increase of 6.9%. A strong financial foundation is paramount for any company. All things considered, would you buy JNJ stock ahead of its earnings report?
Last but not least, we have the late-stage biopharmaceutical company that has been popping off lately, Cytokinetics. Put simply, it is a company that specializes in the treatment of debilitating diseases using muscle activators and inhibitors. Its drug candidates include omecamtiv mecarbil and reldesemtiv. Both of which are in Phase III and Phase II clinical trials respectively. CYTK stock skyrocketed by over 40% this week. So, let us see why.
Well, it was driven by the announcement of positive topline results from its Cohorts 1 and 2 of REDWOOD-HCM, the Phase II clinical trial of CKT-274. It is an investigational cardiac myosin inhibitor in development for the potential treatment of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). The results demonstrated that treatment with CK-274 for 10 weeks showed significant reductions from baseline compared to placebo in the average resting left ventricular outflow tract pressure gradient and the average post-Valsalva LVOT-G.
Not only that, most of the patients treated achieved the target goal of treatment. Out of which, the resting gradient is <30 mmHg and the post-Valsalva gradient is <50 mmHg at week 10 compared to placebo. With this, it supports the progression of CK-274 to a planned 3 registrational clinical trial which is expected to commence before year-end. This development could just be the one that could propel the company to greater heights in the biotech space. With this in mind, would you buy into the future of CYTK stock?
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