President Joe Biden has long been waging a war against cancer. In 2016, he launched the Cancer Moonshot, aimed at accelerating the country’s progress against cancer. Now, in 2022, Biden is determined to finish what he started. He announced this week that he is establishing a new Cancer Cabinet to help reduce the rate of cancer death in the U.S. by 50%.
Biden will have retired long before the initiative is completed. In fact, he has set a 25-year timeline for the U.S. to reach its goal. So why is he so ambitious? The White House says:
“Because of recent progress in cancer therapeutics, diagnostics, and patient-driven care, as well as the scientific advances and public health lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s now possible to set ambitious goals.”
So who will be joining Biden in this fight to end cancer? The cancer cabinet will include 18 federal agencies. Biden has turned to Congress for funding, but he’s also putting pressure on the private sector to lower drug prices.
With this in mind, which biotech stocks stand to benefit? Let’s take a look at the top stocks to buy as the U.S. battles cancer.
- Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY)
- Eli Lilly & Company (NYSE:LLY)
- Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD)
- Merck (NYSE:MRK)
- Pfizer (NYSE:PFE)
Biotech Stocks to Buy: Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY)
Bristol-Myers Squibb should be no stranger to investors looking for strong biotech names in 2022.
Importantly, with the Cancer Cabinet underway, BMY stock is also among top biotech stocks to buy for innovative cancer research. Why?
Perhaps one of the most interesting stories for Bristol-Myers Squibb right now is an update on its Breyanzi treatment, designed for adult patients with multiple types of large-cell lymphoma. Just last week, the European Medicine Agency Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) confirmed it was recommending this treatment.
Following this recommendation, Breyanzi will now move to the European Commission (EC). This agency has the authority to approve medicines for the entire European Union (EU). Investors should note that EU approval would build on existing U.S. approval, expanding its treatment market.
As Biden looks to invest in cancer research, Bristol-Myers is a top pick. That is because in addition to Breyanzi, it also has a robust pipeline targeting a variety of cancers.
Eli Lilly & Company (LLY)
This prominent pharmaceutical producer is also a Wall Street favorite. In fact, InvestorPlace analyst Louis Navellier recently described it as “One of the bluest of the blue chip pharmaceutical stocks.”
One of the sector’s oldest and best established names, Lilly’s portfolio is vast and diverse. It also has plenty of innovative projects in the pipeline.
So what should investors be watching? One thing that stands out is its advancements on a breast cancer treatment. Eli Lilly recently entered into a collaboration and supply agreement with Veru (NASDAQ:VERU). According to a joint statement, they are working to evaluate enobosarm, Veru’s oral tumor suppressor, in combination with Lilly’s Verzenio. Verzenio is an FDA-approved treatment for metastatic breast cancer. The hope is that these two treatments will offer breast cancer patients more options — and create a better standard of care.
With a renewed focus from the government on cancer treatment, Eli Lilly is well-positioned to continue its research and development efforts.
Biotech Stocks to Buy: Gilead Sciences (GILD)
Like LLY, Navellier names GILD a winner among biotech stocks to buy. As he notes, the company “has a massive pipeline of medications in development. It also has a number of blockbuster drugs that support that pipeline and potential acquisitions.”
Among those medications is Trodelvy, a cancer drug upon which Gilead has a lot riding.
BioPharma Dive reports Gilead sees Trodelvy as its chance to cement itself as a player in the oncology space, hopefully diversifying its revenues. Right now, its primary driver is an HIV treatment.
And so far, things are looking good. Last month, Gilead announced plans for clinical trial collaborations with Merck. The latter will be sponsoring a Phase 3 trial of Trodelvy and its own drug Keytruda. According to Gilead, this potential collaboration could go a long way in terms of improving patient outcomes for those with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.
Beyond its work with Gilead, investors have a lot to like about Merck.
As it turns out, Keytruda may provide a double benefit to patients. Reuters recently reported that early research suggests that it is effective at targeting dormant HIV cells in cancer patients. The FDA has already approved Keytruda for the treatment of various skin, colon, lung, stomach, and bladder cancers, as well for other indications.
Now, researchers want to see if Keytruda can offer a treatment for individuals with dormant HIV. One expert told Reuters that her team was optimistic regarding Keytruda’s potential.
It’s not hard to see why a company with this drug would be on a list of biotech stocks to watch right now.
Biotech Stocks to Buy: Pfizer (PFE)
Pfizer has carved out its place in stock market history thanks to its Covid-19 vaccine success. However, investors who bought into PFE stock for the vaccine are already thinking about what comes next.
Thankfully, InvestorPlace contributor Faisal Humayun recently noted that Pfizer has a “deep pipeline of drug candidates,” as well as plenty of cash on hand to keep funding research and development.
As it turns out, that deep pipeline includes Lorviqua (know as Lorbrena in the U.S.), a cancer drug that could be a winner for Pfizer in 2022.
The company was just granted marketing approval by the European Commission for the treatment of specific patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Similar to the progress made by Bristol-Myers Squibb, this type of regulatory approval from overseas will help boost the stock by expanding its treatable market.
On the date of publication, Samuel O’Brient did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.