Over the past year, biotech companies have more or less kept pace with the markets, but they have the potential to break out in 2018. While they have been the obvious beneficiaries of a raging bull market, there have been plenty of factors that have held biotechs back as well.
In the past, companies in the health care sector have been heavily scrutinized for their pricing practices, which led to a big witch hunt that, among other things, seemingly ended with the infamous Martin Shkreli going to jail. In this time, Republicans also failed to achieve their goal of repealing the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. However, all these are in the past and 2018 is wide open.
Jefferies has compiled a list of over 30 biotech events taking place in 2018 that could result in significant stock moves. While some of these companies might move only 10% up or down, some have the potential to double or even crater, should a study be positive or negative.
Keep in mind that while Jefferies does give the expected upside and downside for each stock, the actual change could be entirely different based on unforeseen factors.
Atara Biotherapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ATRA) is scheduled for a Phase 3 trial initiation of ATA-129 around the beginning of 2018. The stock is expected to either see upside of 25% or downside of 10%. Shares of Atara were trading at $18.10 on Friday’s close, with a consensus analyst price target of $28.00 and a 52-week range of $11.80 to $23.00.
Abeona Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ABEO) has a couple of events that it expects in 2018:
- Phase 1/2 MPS neurocog data for ABO-102 is due in early 2018. Jefferies sees a 15% swing either way for this event.
- Break-Through Designation/Regulatory Updates are expected for ABO-102 in the first quarter. The stock is expected to either have upside of 20% or downside of 10%.
Shares of Abeona were last trading at $15.85, with a consensus price target of $29.09 and a 52-week range of $4.50 to $22.75.
Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ICPT) is looking to have an FDA label update for Ocaliva early in the first quarter of 2018. The stock is expected to see either upside in the range of 10% to 20% or downside of 10% to 30%. Shares of Intercept were trading at $58.42, with a consensus price target of $127.65 and a 52-week range of $54.98 to $135.59.
Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ: RARE) is expecting initial gene therapy data from its over-the-counter program early in 2018. The stock is expected to see upside of 10% or downside of 5%. Shares closed trading at $46.38, with a consensus price target of $65.81 and a 52-week range of $43.14 to $91.35.
AveXis Inc. (NASDAQ: AVXS) should hear FDA feedback on accelerating strategy for its AVXS-101 in January. The stock is expected to see either upside of 15% or downside of 30%. Shares of AveXis ended the week at $110.67, with a consensus analyst price target of $112.20 and a 52-week range of $46.41 to $114.45.
Axovant Sciences Ltd. (NASDAQ: AXON) has Phase 2 data on the way for Interpirdine and Neto in January. There was no clear upside estimate for the stock, but Jefferies could see downside between 50% and 100%. Shares of Axovant were trading at $5.27, with a consensus analyst target of $13.17 and a 52-week range of $4.60 to $27.98.
Eiger BioPharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: EIGR) is expected to see topline data for ubenimex in January as well. The stock is expected to either see upside of 50% or downside of 20%. Shares of Eiger last trading at $13.95, with a consensus price target of $32.20 and a 52-week range of $6.10 to $14.50.