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Biotech breakthroughs: Stocks that soared from medical innovations

Biotech breakthroughs: Stocks that soared from medical innovations

On the heels of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, investor enthusiasm for biotech stocks waned as the Federal Reserve embarked on its aggressive rate-hiking campaign to bring down the red-hot inflation that ensued. 

As companies grappled with the need to cut spending, the once-thriving biotech sector experienced a lull in growth. 

But despite the prevailing macroeconomic challenges, certain biotech companies still captured investor attention with their potential to revolutionize medicine in the ongoing fight against complex diseases. In this light, we take a closer look at promising biotech players that keep drawing interest and may continue to do so in the approaching 2024. 

Zymeworks (NASDAQ: ZYME)

Zymeworks Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYME) is a biotech company specializing in advanced biotherapeutics for treating cancer and other severe diseases. 

Their flagship product, Zanidatamab, is a bispecific antibody targeting HER2 domains. Another promising offering is Zanidatamab zovodotin, a fusion of biparatopic antibody design and auristatin ADC technology. With a robust pipeline featuring ADCs, MSATs, and oncology-focused discovery programs, ZYME is among the promising biotech firms developing innovative therapies. 

Its appeal is reflected in growing investor interest, with ZYME surging nearly 24% year-to-date.

ZYME YTD price chart. Source: Google

Recursion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: RXRX)

Recursion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: RXRX) is also among biotech companies that have been raising eyebrows lately after building a cutting-edge AI-powered platform dedicated to decoding the complexities of human biology. 

Employing extensive data and experiments on millions of biological and chemical interactions, the company has developed the sophisticated “Recursion OS.” This platform meticulously analyzes every relational variable, leveraging AI and machine learning to identify novel drugs. 

Notably, Recursion OS allows for “in silico” drug testing, enabling the early elimination of ineffective candidates and prioritizing promising ones before clinical exploration.

This year, shares of RXRX surged approximately 33%, outperforming the broader small-cap Russell 2000 index which gained 15.4% during that period.

RXRX YTD price chart. Source: Google

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: VRTX)

Last but not least we gaze at Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: VRTX), one of the first biotech companies to utilize an explicit strategy of rational drug design instead of combinatorial chemistry.

Renowned for its groundbreaking cystic fibrosis therapy, Trikafta, the company boasts a diverse pipeline featuring mid and late-stage clinical programs addressing complex conditions such as kidney disease, type 1 diabetes, beta thalassemia, pain disorders, and muscular dystrophies. 

Vertex offers a range of medicines including TRIKAFTA/KAFTRIO, ORKAMBI, and KALYDECO, demonstrating its commitment to advancing therapies for a broad spectrum of diseases.

Compared to ZYME and RXRX, Vertex is a much bigger stock, with a market cap of more than $103 billion. Nevertheless, it has witnessed the biggest 2023 surge out of the three, surging 41% year-to-date.  

VRTX YTD price chart. Source: Google

Highlighted by notable price surges, these three stocks have seized considerable investor interest throughout the year. With a steadfast focus on pioneering therapies across diverse disease landscapes, these biotech firms stand as compelling names that investors should continue monitoring going forward. 

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Disclaimer: The content on this site should not be considered investment advice. Investing is speculative. When investing, your capital is at risk.

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