It’s pretty hard to ignore the impact of Covid-19 on the global and domestic economy. But the shutdown in the U.S. economy, while swift, was also swiftly managed by the administration and Congress, as well as the Federal Reserve. This has helped buoy the markets after a precipitous initial drop. And it has allowed enough time for investors to process everything that has happened and reset their expectations — looking away from certain risks and into cleaning-supply companies and biotech stocks.
Previous to Covid-19, there was the feeling the economy was nearing recession sometime this year. Now we’re in one.
That’s why I wanted to talk about an opportunity that doesn’t have to do with consumer-driven stocks — the seven beautiful biotech stocks to buy here. These companies are set up to endure long drug approval processes that happen over good times and bad.
- CRISPR Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CRSP)
- Acceleron Pharma (NASDAQ:XLRN)
- Neurocrine Biosciences (NASDAQ:NBIX)
- Galapagos NV (NASDAQ:GLPG)
- Incyte Corp (NASDAQ:INCY)
- Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:REGN)
- Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD)
They’re built to be immune from general market forces, especially the big one these days — consumer spending — and to benefit from powerful technology that’s popping up in all kinds of industries.
Biotech Stocks to Buy: CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP)
CRISPR is a Swiss biotech that is one of the leaders in CRISPR technology. This is a new and fast-growing field. CRISPR (it stands for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) is a DNA segment containing short repetitions of base sequences.
By using these, scientists are learning to identify where there is a break in the pattern that may signal a disease and then repair (or edit) that sequence. This is a revolutionary concept in treating disease, since it is the first step toward personalized medicine.
Currently the research is hoping to build treatments to help battle many different cancers and other diseases. But eventually the technology can be applied to a much broader field of needs.
The company is well funded and will continue to make a difference, even sequencing Covid-19.
The stock is up 37% in the past year and over 30% in the past month.
Acceleron Pharma (XLRN)
Acceleron is a biopharmaceutical company that has been around since 2003. Last year was a wild ride for the firm, and the volatility continued into 2020.
In September, one of its drugs in trials was rejected by the FDA and the stock tanked. Then, shortly after that, its drug luspatercept, which treats a rare blood disorder, was approved.
And then, in late January, data from a Phase 2 trial of another drug it has in the approval process for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), showed significant positive results in treating the disorder. This is the kind of situation that can attract big buying pressure on Wall Street of the kind I want to see in Growth Investor.
Needless to say, the stock is now up 134% in the past year, and 38% in the past month.
One of its largest shareholders is Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY). Acceleron had been doing a lot of work with Celgene when BMY bought Celgene. This is a great partnership to have when looking to market, manufacture and distribute these new drugs.
Neurocrine Biosciences (NBIX)
Neurocrine Biosciences has been in business for over 25 years and specializes in developing treatments for people suffering with neurological, endocrine and psychological disorders.
It currently has treatments for tardive dyskinesia and endometriosis. It has candidates for Parkinson’s, uterine fibroids and congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Last year, there was talk that Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) may have been looking at NBIX as an acquisition to build on its own work in some of these sectors.
It’s a solid company that has a good balance of revenue-generating drugs and a solid, focused drug pipeline. Neurocrine has a unique niche and will remain an attractive takeover target for larger pharmaceutical companies and biotechs.
The stock is up 17% for the past year, and 20% in the past month.
Galapagos NV (GLPG)
Galapagos is a Belgian company that specializes in small molecule and antibody therapies.
It was a solid performer and has been around for over 20 years. But its big break happened last year when Gilead approached the company and offered it a $5 billion partnership deal. This brought the stock to the attention of many U.S. investors who hadn’t paid much attention to it.
And by December, that partnership paid off. GILD filed with FDA for speedy review of filgotinib, a potential blockbuster drug that GLPG developed and had in Europe in Japan but not the U.S. The U.S. is the market where the money is made, since pricing is far more dynamic than in other countries.
The approval came in December. And this could mean big things for both companies. But since then, Covid-19 has taken the spotlight and Gilead’s remdesivir has been all the buzz.
GLPG stock is up over 80% in the past 12 months, and almost 45% in the past month. Its management has also been wise enough to partner with a genomics company that provides what’s sometimes nicknamed “the mother of all technologies” to help discover new treatments and drug combinations.
Incyte Corp (INCY)
Incyte has been around since the early 1990s and is good-sized biopharmaceutical company with a $21 billion market capitalization.
Currently it has two drugs in the marketplace, one of those is in the US. Its big drug is Jakafi (ruxolitinib), which treats a rare form of blood cancer and is also approved to manage acute graft-versus-host disease in adults.
It also has a drug that it acquired from ARIAD Pharmaceuticals for European distribution. Its Iclusig (ponatinib) is used to treat leukemia, and INCY stock hopes to make the drug available in the U.S. after approval from the FDA.
Incyte also has a good number of drugs in the pipeline and has the financial wherewithal to keep moving them forward, even now.
The stock is up 36% in the past 12 months, and over 60% in the past month.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN)
Regeneron is one of those biotech stocks that has been a direct Covid-19 beneficiary.
It has a number of drugs in the market and around 30 drugs in its pipeline. It has been around since 1988 and has a $62 billion market cap, so this is no one-trick pony rolling the dice on a potential blockbuster. It has built its reputation over time, delivering solid drugs in important sectors.
But the added juice at this point is its arthritis drug Kevzara that it co-markets with Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY). It has been given to patients in China and New York (the co-founder of Regeneron is from Queens) but the testing isn’t broad enough to deliver any conclusive information.
Obviously, the bet on Kevzara being a treatment is just that, a bet. But it has brought more attention to REGN, which is a quality pharma. And Regeneron also has its eye on the big picture of next-generation technology to supercharge its genomics research at the Regeneron Genetics Center.
The stock is up almost 62% in the past year and up 22% in the past month.
Gilead Sciences (GILD)
Gilead has been a big name among biotech stocks for a long time. It was a key player in finding a treatment for HIV/AIDS. And was also a pioneer in finding a highly effective once-a-day regimen for hepatitis C.
While it still makes a good amount of money from these blockbusters, it hadn’t had a big hit in a while and the stock flat-lined as investors wondered if its best days were behind it.
But it has made some interesting acquisitions and partnerships in the past couple years, one of those being with Galapagos.
And now, remdesivir is in two Phase 3 clinical trials as a treatment for Covid-19. This, along with the promising partnership with GLPG stock that’s already delivering results, promises that GILD could beback in the running with two potential blockbusters. Even one would be great news.
The stock is on the move, up 30% in the past 12 months, and 13% in the past month. And it is still off its 2015 highs, so there’s plenty of headroom if either – or both – these drug live up to their promise.
Gilead is one of the “big kahunas” in this space, and now a household name, thanks to the fight against Covid-19. It, too, is partnering with smaller labs to harness the power of the game-changing technology of our time: artificial intelligence (AI).
The AI Master Key
If artificial intelligence sounds futuristic, even far-fetched — well, keep in mind, you’re already using it every day. If you’ve ever used Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google Assistant or Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Siri … if you’ve had Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) recommend a movie or Zillow (NASDAQ:Z) recommend a house … even an email spam filter … then you’ve used artificial intelligence.
In this new world of AI everywhere, data becomes a hot commodity.
As scientists find even more applications for artificial intelligence — from hospitals to retail to self-driving cars — it’s incredible to imagine how much data will be involved.
To create AI programs in the first place, tech companies must collect vast amounts of data on human decisions. Data is what powers every AI system. As one AI researcher from the University of South Florida puts it, “data is the new oil.”
To cash in, you’ll want the company that makes the “brain” that all AI software needs to function, spot patterns and interpret data.
It’s known as the “Volta Chip” — and it’s what makes the AI revolution possible.
You don’t need to be an AI expert to take part. I’ll tell you everything you need to know, as well as my buy recommendation, in my special report for Growth Investor, The A.I. Master Key. The stock is still under my buy limit price — so you’ll want to sign up now. That way, you can get in while you can still do so cheaply.
Louis Navellier had an unconventional start, as a grad student who accidentally built a market-beating stock system — with returns rivaling even Warren Buffett. In his latest feat, Louis discovered the “Master Key” to profiting from the biggest tech revolution of this (or any) generation. Louis Navellier may hold some of the aforementioned securities in one or more of his newsletters.