Looking for the best biotech stocks to buy may appear to be not too different from gambling for some. That’s because trying to bet on which company’s vaccine candidates are more likely to work can often feel like a guessing game. From what we have seen so far, most of the top biotech stocks working on the COVID-19 vaccine and treatments so far have not disappointed. For instance, Pfizer (PFE Stock Report) and Moderna (MRNA Stock Report) have exhibited high efficacies. Their vaccines are now in vaccine manufacturing networks.
Meanwhile, the vaccine jointly developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca (AZN Stock Report) is coming under intense scrutiny. This came after its UK scientists made a major “mistake” during trials. That could delay the vaccine from getting approval from healthcare regulators, according to reports. The promising results came after a batch of volunteers were given half doses by mistake. It appears that the efficacy of the vaccine was significantly lower at 62% for those who received the correctly administered two full doses.
That’s why it might be a good idea to buy a small stake in several top biotech stocks that are pure-play in the COVID-19 programs. That way, if one company’s shares dive on poor clinical data, your portfolio will still be safe. Even Bill Gates is feeling optimistic about coronavirus vaccine development. “Almost all the vaccines will work and with very high efficacy levels,” Gates told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria in an interview on Sunday. “I’m optimistic that by February it’s very likely that they’ll all prove very efficacious and safe.” With all that being said, would you bet on this list of top biotech stocks that are working on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments?
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First, up the list, Novavax (NVAX Stock Report) is at the front of the pack compared to hundreds of vaccine candidates in the pipeline. Its vaccine candidate, NVX-CoC2373 is in Phase 3 clinical trials and is likely to prove efficacious and safe, according to Bill Gates. That’s understandable as the company is a few months late in comparison with their late-stage trials. The company easily benefits from the fact that it is under the Operation Warp Speed Programme. It also has several government contracts for its COVID-19 vaccine.
As part of Operation Warp Speed, the government has awarded the company $1.6 billion to produce as many as 100 million vaccine doses. Meanwhile, Canada has an in-principle agreement with Novavax for it to supply up to 76 million vaccine doses. To sum up, the company has $2 billion in funding from various governments.
It’s hard to believe that NVAX stock was a penny stock trading at $4 per share earlier this year. If you are an early investor, you would have reaped huge benefits from its massive rally this year. While it may be trailing behind Pfizer, Moderna, and perhaps AstraZeneca in the vaccine race, this underdog could still prove to be one of the best. The reason being that Novavax’s vaccine uses a tried and tested recombinant protein method. With that in mind, would NVAX stock be worth adding to your watchlist today?Top Biotech Stocks To Watch Now: Johnson & Johnson
Another vaccine likely to prove very efficacious and safe according to Bill Gates belongs to Johnson & Johnson (JNJ Stock Report). The company has enjoyed a nearly 30% increase in stock price since the stock market crash in March. J&J is now undergoing its phase 3 trial, which started in September. The company states that its vaccine candidate is compatible with standard vaccine distribution channels. If so, it would not require new infrastructure to get it to people who need it.
The real deal is now on the supply chain and logistics of the vaccine. Pfizer and Moderna require an extremely cold environment to store the vaccines. But J&J can boast a supply chain that is best in its field. Besides, it may not need to store vaccines in such cold temperatures as Pfizer or Moderna. This plays well for J&J as it prepares to distribute up to 1 billion doses of its vaccine candidate in 2021. The company runs its supply chain with cutting edge digital technology. This includes collaborative robots, self-driving vehicles, and augmented reality. The company states that it is on its way to reaching its 2021 goal thanks to a range of strategic manufacturing partnerships. Among the companies that have partnered with J&J for this endeavor are Emergent BioSolutions (EBS Stock Report) and Catalent (CTLT Stock Report).
The company had just posted its third-quarter results in October. J&J had reported sales of $2.1 billion reflecting a 1.7% increase year-over-year. The company had also reported earnings per share of $1.33, which is a staggering 101.5% increase from a year earlier. As J&J prepares for its vaccine distribution in 2021 once its vaccine proves to be efficacious and safe, will you consider betting on JNJ stock ahead of its clinical trials data?Top Biotech Stocks To Watch Now: Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN Stock Report) is another top biotech stock worth watching right now. Last weekend, the company received the green light from the U.S. FDA for the emergency use of its antibody-drug. According to Bloomberg, the company is rolling out 30,000 doses of its drugs. It expects to have doses for around 80,000 patients before December. The company is collaborating with Roche (RHHBY Stock Report), one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Regeneron estimates that it will have enough doses for about 300,000 patients by the end of January 2021. The involvement of Roche in manufacturing and distribution is likely critical in speeding things up.
This is the same drug that President Trump took when he contracted the novel coronavirus. Early results suggest the drug may reduce COVID-19-related hospitalization or emergency room visits in patients at high risk for disease progression, the FDA said. “The FDA remains committed to advancing the nation’s public health during this unprecedented pandemic. Authorizing these monoclonal antibody therapies may help outpatients avoid hospitalization and alleviate the burden on our health care system,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn.
The ability to develop a treatment for the novel coronavirus on short notice speaks volumes on Regeneron’s core competency in drug and vaccine developments. Regeneron also has a lot of happening in its key pipeline progress. The company reported that it currently has 20 product candidates in clinical development. Some of these drugs have shown very promising results so far. The FDA had also approved the company’s Inmazeb drug, which treats Ebola patients. When administered, it reduces the chances of dying dramatically from Ebola. In total, the company currently has 7 FDA-approved medicines and an extensive pipeline. This shows that the company is not reliant on the success of just one product. With that in mind, would you consider buying REGN stock?