This micro-cap company could also be a big winner for investors. Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: INO) is a late-stage biotechnology company that engages in the discovery, development and commercialization of DNA-based immunotherapies and vaccines.
The company focuses on the development of SynCon immunotherapy, which helps break the immune system’s tolerance of cancerous cells, and Cellectra, which facilitates optimized cellular uptake of the SynCon immunotherapies.
The analysts at Stifel rate the shares at Buy, but their $7 price target is lower than the huge consensus target of $10.57. The stock closed on Friday at $3.52 per share.
This stock once traded over $50 a share, and it could be a fallen angel gem for investors. MannKind Corp. (NASDAQ: MNKD) focuses on the development and commercialization of inhaled therapeutic products for patients with diseases such as diabetes and pulmonary arterial hypertension.
The company currently is commercializing Afrezza (insulin human) Inhalation Powder, its first FDA-approved product and the only inhaled rapid-acting mealtime insulin in the United States, where it is available by prescription from pharmacies nationwide.
Leerink Swann recently started coverage with an Outperform rating and a $3 price target. The posted consensus target is $3.50, and the shares were last seen trading at $2.20 apiece.
This small-cap biotech could have monster upside potential. Viking Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: VKTX) focuses on the development of therapies for metabolic and endocrine disorders. Its clinical program, VK5211, is an orally available drug candidate that is in Phase 2 clinical trial for acute rehabilitation following non-elective hip fracture surgery. VK5211 is a non-steroidal selective androgen receptor modulator.
The company’s second program is focused on the development of orally available small molecule thyroid hormone receptor beta agonists. Its two molecules are VK2809 and VK0214. The former is an orally available, tissue and receptor-subtype selective agonist of the thyroid beta receptor that is entering Phase 2 development for the treatment of patients with hypercholesterolemia and fatty liver disease.
SunTrust is very positive on the shares and noted this past week after the company reported fourth-quarter results:
Viking reported fourth quarter 2018 earnings results and provided an update on pipeline development. The company announced positive additional data from a 5mg dose cohort of VK2809 in a Phase II NAFLD study. Similar to 10mg cohort, VK2809 led to statistically significant reduction in liver fat content relative to placebo with no serious adverse events. Initiation of a Phase IIb biopsy-confirmed NASH trial is expected in 2H19 after completion of ongoing animal toxicity studies. Low doses will likely be included due to strong efficacy, not safety concerns.
The SunTrust team has a massive $28 price target, which compares the posted consensus target of $26.63. The shares ended the week at $7.86.
Five stocks for aggressive accounts that look to get share count leverage on companies that have sizable upside potential. While not suited for all investors, they are not penny stocks with absolutely no track record or liquidity, and major Wall Street firms have research coverage on them. With that caveat noted, readers should be reminded that these small biotechs are very risky plays as clinical failures could prove fatal.