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4 Attractive Biopharma Stocks of All Sizes

Next-gen drugs can help power growth and income alike

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Mega-Cap: Novartis

Novartis NYSE:NVSMarket Cap: $145 billion

Novartis (NYSE:NVS) has been on a pretty good roll in recent weeks: An FDA advisory panel last week unanimously recommended the company’s Signifor to treat Cushing’s disease — a rare but debilitating condition that produces tumors. Signifor is the first treatment to target the disease and could become the only non-surgical option for these patients.

Novartis has a strong biopharma pipeline that could produce as many as 14 blockbuster drugs over the next five years. The heart-failure drug Serelaxin is among the most promising. A clinical study of 1,161 patients released last week found Serelaxin, which eases stress on the heart by relaxing blood vessels, reduced acute heart failure deaths by a whopping 37% — apparently without dangerous side effects. Deutsche Bank analysts say the heart failure drug potentially could account for $2.5 billion in annual sales.

While Novartis’ already large size means you likely won’t see eye-popping gains in a short time off a single drug approval, the company offers stability, including in the form of dividends. NVS has increased its payout annually for the past 15 years, and currently yields a juicy 4% in dividends, with plenty of cash to back those checks.

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