3 Trending Biotechs

Brittney Barrett  |

Stocks trading in biotech have been hard hit during the economic volatility. Compounding a tenuous market with inherently risky stocks does not appeal to all investors but biotech bulls may want to take note of the following three companies experiencing strong volume in recent trading.

Biogen Idec (BIIB) -Shares of Biogen added almost ten percent yesterday after the biotech outfit reported results that exceded analyst expectations. A  second phase three study for the company’s multiple sclerosis drug BG-12, has been making waves and  biotech bulls appear to have Biogen on their radar.

According to the most recent data surrounding the drug, two daily doses over a two year period has shown success in reducing the relapse rate in MS patients by 44 percent. A three times per day dosage saw a 51 percent decline in annual relapse rate. The results from the trial were highly anticipated after the companies earlier phase 3 trial produced equally staggering results.

Should Biogen receive the necessary approvals and have its studies hold up upon further examination it could be a major blockbuster in the MS market. BG-12 has the distinct advantage of being administered in pill form. Many current competitors are intravenous, which tends to negatively impact sales when other options are available.

Merck (MRK): The latest announcement from the Center of Disease Controls advisory committee has been a windfall for shares of Merck.  The group has recommended Merck’s HPV vaccine Gardasil, to be administered to boys ages 11 and 12 as well as those over 13 who have no yet had the vaccine. Gardasil is already recommended for women and girls in order to prevent from the contraction of the STD and the associated risks that come with it including cervical cancer.

A recent study indicates HPV also puts men at risk for cancer of the throat and genital warts, a previously unrecognized risk which will likely prompt higher sales of the vaccine.

Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ONXX) has been receiving major press for its cancer-fighting regorafenib compound developed with Bayer AG. Studies on the drug have been consistently positive and today the company announced success in meeting endpoint of a late-stage trial involving metastatic colorectal cancer patients.

Shares in Onyx shot up in before hours trade  while Bayer was mostly stagnant. Onyx, according to an agreement earlier this month, will receive 20 percent royalties on sales of the oncology drug. The results of the trials have indicated statistically significant results in patients with heavily pretreated metastatic colorectal cancer, an area in which considerable unmet medical needs exist.

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