Biotech stocks were one of the best-performing industries in 2020. With the coronavirus raging like wildfire, it is understandable that biotech firms were at the frontlines in manufacturing a vaccine. Investors seeking high returns could always turn to biotech stocks. This is as a result of the fact that the biotech industry is full of clinical-stage firms that can explode in value overnight. Moreover, the fortunes of the biotech industry are usually based on their pipeline developments rather than what is going on with the rest of the world. This could explain why a number of the top biotech stocks to look out for in 2021 had such a phenomenal year in 2020.
Looking at the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index, it is obvious that the index has increased by over 60% since March last year. Could this trend continue given the continued presence of the pandemic? A lot of biotech firms have products on the market that are essential for patients and sales will keep increasing even in times like this in which the economy is not doing so well. With that in mind, here is a list of the top-performing stocks to watch in the stock market in 2021:
1. Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings
Arcturus (NASDAQ: ARCT) is a major clinical-stage messenger RNA medicines firm for rare diseases. The company is behind the RNA therapeutics platform known as LUNAR, which is a proprietary lipid-enabled delivery system for RNA medicines. The company’s pipelines include RNA therapeutics for diseases such as cystic fibrosis. The company’s shares have increased by over 30% overnight. The stock surged after a Wells Fargo analyst gave the stock a buy rating and set a price of $118. This is more than 76% of where it was at, this led to investors buying Arcturus and raising the stock price to more than $66.97 per share. In the company’s third-quarter financials released in November, the firm gave an update on its coronavirus vaccine candidate, ARCT-021. The vaccine could be more successful than the current drug s on the market. The reason being that in its Phase ½ data, the vaccine showed favorable immunogenicity and safety results for its single-dose regimen. If proven successful and approved by regulatory agencies, a single-dose vaccine could be very appealing to patients and governments around the world. The firm is currently carrying out a phase 2study in Singapore to evaluate its vaccine candidate even further. If all goes as planned, Arcturus could enter into late-stage clinical study in the second quarter of 2021.
2. Intellia Therapeutics
Intellia Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NTLA) is a leading firm in the development of CRISPR genome editing and is rapidly pushing experimental therapies towards the clinic. The company located in Massachusetts is focused on its modular lipid nanoparticle delivery system. The company’s shares have soared more than 30% since Monday. On January 7, the company released its strategic priorities and anticipated development milestones for 2021. The highlights have undoubtedly left investors excited for things to come for Intellia. The firm aims to submit an investigational new drug application to the FDA this year. The Company has also secured a partnership with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals for its NTLA-2001 in the treatment of transthyretin amyloidosis, a protein misfolding disease. With such exciting developments surrounding the company, it is easy to understand why investors have flocked to this biotech stock.
CureVac (NASDAQ: CVAC) is a Germany-based firm that develops therapies based on messenger RNA. The company recently announced a coronavirus vaccine partnership deal with Bayer. The deal will allow CureVac to take advantage of Bayer’s expertise and established infrastructure to ensure its vaccine candidate is made available rapidly to as many people as possible. The company’s third-quarter fiscal report shared in November showed that the company has entered into an agreement with the European Commission to supply 225 million doses of its vaccine plus an option for an extra 180 million doses. The company has been building a firm manufacturing network to supply up to 300 million doses by the end of 2021 and up to 600 million doses by the end of 2022. CureVac also has over $1 billion in cash for the quarter, which would comfortably fund its ongoing research & development projects.
4. Heron Therapeutics
Heron Therapeutics (NASDAQ: HRTX) is another high-performing biotech company to look out for in 2021. The company has an anti-nausea drug Civanti which is expected to be expanded into oncology in the US. Additionally, its pain-relief drug Zynrelef is billed for approval from the Food and Drug Administration in the first half of 2021. The drug was recently approved in Europe and is expected to become a very important product and cash driver for Heron.
5. Trillium Therapeutics Inc.
Trillium Therapeutics (NASDAQ: TRIL) is a Canada-based biotech company specializing in clinical-stage immuno-oncology treatments. The company has preclinical programs and therapies that focus on cancer treatment. In its 2020 Q3 report, the company posted promising data from studies for potential treatments to target several variants of cancers, including those related to hematologic malignancies and multiple myeloma or lymphoma.