These 3 Biotech Stocks Are Up 269% in 2024. Is There More to Come?


  • It’s easy to cry when investing in biotechs but these three companies have investors laughing all the way to the bank this year.
  • Viking Therapeutics (VKTX): Positive trial results for an oral obesity drug sent VKTX stock soaring.
  • Skye Bioscience (SKYE): Completing enrollment trial enrollment ahead of schedule was one of the catalysts sending SKYE stock skyward.
  • Janux Therapeutics (JANX): More positive trial results for cancer biotech JANX was the inflection point to send shares higher.
Biotech stocks - These 3 Biotech Stocks Are Up 269% in 2024. Is There More to Come?

Source: Shutterstock

Investors looking for a white-knuckle ride can easily find one by buying biotech stocks. There is a certain thrill in investing in a company making actual life-or-death decisions with drugs. And they offer the potential for creating fabulous wealth for investors willing to get in early enough.

Yet, biotechs can also plunge to new depths when their drug trials go awry. It’s definitely not a sector to invest in for the faint of heart. Finding the right horse to back is a key consideration. Below are three biotech stocks that have recently reported favorable developments and seen their stocks surge higher. Although the companies had some good news, is there even more to come? After rocketing at least 269% already this year, let’s see if investors missed the boat on these three biotech stocks or if there are more gains to come.

Viking Therapeutics (VKTX)

An image of a tablet with 'therapeutics' on the screen, a stethoscope and face mask around it
Source: ra2 studio/Shutterstock

Weight-loss drugs have been a huge growth driver ever since Novo Nordisk (NYSE:NVO) released its glycogen-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) therapy for obesity Wegovy. The Danish drug maker’s stock is up 253% over the past three years as a result. Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) quadrupled in value after releasing its own insulin-stimulating GLP-1 treatment, Zepbound. While the drugs are immensely popular, they are administered subcutaneously, which could limit their potential reach amongst patients.

Biotech Viking Therapeutics (NASDAQ:VKTX) is investigating an oral version of a GLP-1 treatment called VK2735. In phase 2 trials, it is performing even better than either Wegovy or Zepbound, helping overweight and obese people lose up to 15% of their body weight after 13 weeks of treatment.

Viking Therapeutics stocks more than doubled on the news and kept rising to almost $100 a share. While it has given back a third of those gains, the biotech is up 269% so far this year and could go even higher as VK2735 progresses through late-stage trials. An oral version of the drug would be seen as a superior alternative to receiving an injection.

Skye Bioscience (SKYE)

Photo of test tubes and droplet with purple and reddish-orange sunset visual effect, representing biotech
Source: Image

Skye Bioscience (NASDAQ:SKYE) was trading on the pink sheets until last week. The over-the-counter stock is a clinical stage biotech focused on therapies for the endocannabinoid system, in particular on obesity and ocular indications. Although its stock had been rising since late January when it announced a $50 million private placement to help fund its research into its various therapies, shares shot higher on Feb. 27. There is some significance to that.

First, Skye had announced the day before it had completed ahead of schedule a targeted enrollment of 54 patients by dosing 56 patients in a phase 2a study of SBI-100 Ophthalmic Emulsion (OE). That is Skye’s investigational therapy for glaucoma patients. It now expects topline study data to be ready in the second quarter.

Yet it is also coincidental that Viking Therapeutics announced its phase 2 trial results for its obesity treatments on that same day. Skye is pursuing trials of nimacimab for patients with obesity and chronic kidney disease. In early January it received clearance for its Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the Food & Drug Administration to begin its own phase 2 trials. No doubt investors see potential for Skye with both its glaucoma therapy and a potential obesity treatment. With its shares rising, Skye Bioscience got approval to move its stock up to the Nasdaq exchange on Apr. 10 where it now trades. SKYE stock is up 440% so far this year.

Janux Therapeutics (JANX)

A close-up concept image of a tiny glass vial with a strand of DNA in it. best biotech stocks
Source: Shutterstock

Apparently Feb. 27 was a day for biotechs to surge as cancer biotech Janux Therapeutics (NASDAQ:JANX) also rocketed higher after reporting encouraging efficacy and safety data in their clinical trials for JANX007, a treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. It also had positive developments FOR JANX008, which is being tested for treating late-stage solid tumors. JANX stock ultimately tripled in value, rising 220%. Janux Therapeutics stock is now up 372% in 2024.

As is common after a big run-up like that, Janux gave back some of its gains, falling from a high of over $58 a share to $35 a share — still a double from where it started. However, JANX stock was off to the races again last week after Bloomberg reported that Janux Therapeutics is exploring a sale of the company. The drug developer is exploring several options, but the news site said it had received offers from buyers and was mulling them over. It is working with an advisor to decide which avenue is best. JANX stock is now back above $52 a share.

On the date of publication, Rich Duprey did not hold (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 Publishing Guidelines.

Rich Duprey has written about stocks and investing for the past 20 years. His articles have appeared on, The Motley Fool, and Yahoo! Finance, and he has been referenced by U.S. and international publications, including MarketWatch, Financial Times, Forbes, Fast Company, USA Today, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Cheddar News, The Boston Globe, L’Express, and numerous other news outlets.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media,

©2024 InvestorPlace Media, LLC