Feb. 24, 2021, 4:08 p.m. EST

Are These The Top Biotech Stocks To Watch Ahead Of February 2021?

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Feb 24, 2021 (StockMarket.com via COMTEX) -- Looking For The Best Biotech Stocks For Your Watchlist? 3 Names To Know

While many investors would agree that 2020 was the year for biotech stocks to shine, we may be able to say the same for 2021. The industry continues to bring huge gains for investors. Evidently, we see this as the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index continues to outpace the broader Nasdaq Composite by over 2% this month. With so much movement going on in the space, investors may be beginning to question if it is still worth investing in. Well, some of the best biotech stocks of 2020 were companies working on coronavirus vaccines. Seeing as the coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of slowing down, there could be more room for growth in these companies. Even for those who are not all that keen on vaccine stocks, there are plenty of options across the industry.

Take CRISPR Therapeutics ( NASDAQ: CRSP ) for example. The gene therapy specialist is looking at gains of over 210% in the past year. Alternatively, the field of research in cancer treatment continues to be an active space as well. Cancer diagnostic specialist Guardant Health ( NASDAQ: GH ) climbed by over 150% in share price since the March lows. If anything, this goes to show the resilience of the broader biotech industry even in the face of a global pandemic. Considering this quality of the biotech market, you may be inclined to take a closer look at the sector yourself.

Regardless, whether it is coronavirus vaccines or new treatments for existing illnesses, investors are spoilt for choice. As we often say here at StockMarket.com , due diligence and proper research can help with discerning the best stocks to buy . With that in mind, take a look at these top biotech stocks making moves lately.

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Best Biotech Stocks To Watch Right Now

Vir Biotechnology Inc.

Vir is a California-based biotech company that is focused on the development of treatments for serious infectious diseases. Not to mention, it is also backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The company's developmental pipeline includes projects for HIV, Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), COVID-19, and Tuberculosis. In fact, initial data from its latest HBV clinical trial sent VIR stock soaring by over 71% during intraday trading on Tuesday.

On January 26, the company released its Phase 1 initial trial data for its VIR-3434 HBV treatment. After eight days, patients who had received Vir's treatment showed significantly reduced levels of HBV antigens. Moreover, it also has a 'vaccinal mutation' engineered into it which means it could potentially work as an HBV vaccine. Although these are initial findings, they present the possibility of Vir having an HBV treatment and cure on its hands. This comes as great news for HBV patients, the company, and VIR stockholders. Considering that nearly 300 million people are living with chronic HBV worldwide, there is a wide market for such a product. Should things go as planned, VIR stockholders could be looking at huge gains in the long term.

If that wasn't enough, VIR stock also received substantial upgrades from industry analysts earlier on Monday. Analysts are now forecasting annual revenue of around $130 million for 2021. If this turns out to be the case, the company would be looking at a 72% leap in annual revenue year-over-year. All in all, it seems like a very exciting time for VIR stock. As such, will you be adding it to your watchlist?

Edesa Biotech Inc.

Following that, we will be looking at biopharmaceutical company, Edesa. The company acquires, develops, and commercializes clinical-stage drugs for inflammatory and immune-related diseases. Just yesterday, EDSA stock shot up by over 35% on account of its recent U.S. FDA update.

In detail, Edesa received regulatory approval to conduct an additional sub-study on its ongoing investigational drug. The drug in question is EB05 that is used for the treatment of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). To point out, ARDS is the leading cause of death in COVID-19 patients. The sub-study in question will be to evaluate the drug as a potential rescue therapy for critically severe cases of COVID-19. If Edesa plays its cards right, it could be looking to expand the potential usage of its ARDS treatment and save lives in the process. With all this going on, I can see why investors would be keen to jump on EDSA stock.

In terms of financials, the company reported ending its recent quarter with $7.2 million in cash and cash equivalents. Edesa has admittedly been busy throughout its recent quarter as well. It added two Phase 2-ready products to its development pipeline and continued to facilitate patient enrollment for its ongoing dermatitis treatment. Moving forward, CEO Dr. Par Nijhawan said, "Our team continues to operate at a high level, and we are looking forward to building on our momentum, achieving our near-term milestones, and, ultimately, building value for shareholders." By and large, do you think this makes EDSA stock a top biotech stock?

[Read More] Could These Be The Best Retail Stocks To Buy Ahead Of February? 4 To Consider

Moderna Inc.

Next, we will be looking at vaccine superstar Moderna. The company has made a name for itself as it owns one of the few coronavirus vaccines to be approved for emergency use. Any biotech investor worth their salt is familiar with the meteoric rise of MRNA stock due to the current pandemic. In the past year, MRNA stock is looking at gains of over 565%. Interestingly, it seems as though investors are still watching it closely. This can be seen as the stock is up by over 15% this week.

Well, the company made two key announcements regarding the effectiveness of its vaccine and U.S. supply updates. Firstly, Moderna found that its vaccine retained effectiveness against the new strains of the virus identified in the U.K. and South Africa. This is fantastic news as fear of mutations making first-generation vaccines unviable has been mentioned as a possibility. Vaccine resiliency aside, the company also reported that it remains on track to deliver up to 200 million doses to the U.S. by the end of June. Moderna also announced that it would be increasing its global production estimate from 500 to 600 million doses for 2021. As the company continues working towards boosting this number to 1 billion, MRNA stock could continue to be in the limelight.

These are excellent developments for the company, its investors, and the general public. Financially, the company is on solid footing. In its recent quarter fiscal posted in October, it reported massive year-over-year jumps of 826% in total revenue and 766% in cash on hand. Could this mean that MRNA stock has more room to grow moving forward? Your guess is as good as mine.

COMTEX_381669379/2688/2021-02-24T16:07:53

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