The Top 10 Biotechs of 2019

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Markets are soaring, and 2019 has been a big win so far for most investors playing the game. However not all sectors are keeping pace, and some are very imbalanced. The tech sector has been by far and away the top-performing sector, while the health care sector is bringing up the rear.

Even though tech stocks on average are posting far better gains that health care stocks, a fair number of health care stocks — biotechs specifically — are blowing these tech stocks out of the water.

24/7 Wall St. is taking a look at the top biotech stocks in 2019. In this list we did not include any biotechs with a market cap under $100 million. Of these stocks, only three have market capitalizations under $200 million.

Although the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (NASDAQ: IBB) has underperformed the markets in general, a fair number of these biotechs have posted absolutely massive gains. While this exchange-traded fund has only posted a gain of nearly 10%, the S&P 500 is up about 17%, but this pales in comparison to some biotechs that have more than doubled, or even tripled this year.

Axsome Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: AXSM) leads off this list with a 469% gain so far in 2019. This stock has been on the rise since early January when it posted positive results from its midstage trial in major depressive disorder. Shares closed Wednesday at $16.04, in a 52-week range of $1.94 to $16.80.

PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: PHAS) is in second place, with its stock up 314% year to date. Much of the push this year has been due to the results of PhaseBio’s antiplatelet reversal agent. Shares closed at $12.78, in a 52-week range of $2.55 to $16.65. It has a market cap of $359 million.

Sunesis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: SNSS) shares have seen a gain of roughly 254% for the year. The firm has gained momentum with its midstage trial of vecabrutinib for lymphoma and leukemia. Shares recently closed at $1.47, in a 52-week range of $0.20 to $2.96. The market cap is roughly $100 million.

Trevena Inc. (NASDAQ: TRVN) is up 242% year to date. This firm saw most of its gain in January when it responded to the FDA’s Complete Response Letter in regards to oliceridine for the treatment of acute pain. Shares of Trevena closed at $1.47, in a 52-week range of $0.38 to $3.58. It has a market cap of $136 million.

Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYNE) shares are up 237% so far in 2019. Zynerba has been riding high on the wave of marijuana stocks, considering its portfolio and newest patent this quarter for cannabidiol (CBD). Shares last closed at $10.01 and have a 52-week range of $2.75 to $12.50. The market cap is $211 million.

OncoCyte Corp. (NYSE: OCX) comes in at sixth place on this list with its shares up 220% this year. A majority of this gain took place in late January, when the firm announced successful results of DetermaVu. Since then the stock has tapered off. Shares closed at $4.41, in a 52-week range of $1.16 to $6.92. OncoCyte has a market cap of $229 million.

Constellation Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNST) is up 206% year to date. This stock came public last summer, and while the gains in 2019 are substantial, it is still trading around where it originally entered the market. Shares recently closed at $12.27, with a 52-week range of $4.01 to $14.04. The market cap is $317 million.

Magenta Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: MGTA) shares have posted a gain of 187% in 2019. The firm has seen considerable gains this quarter on the back of its bone marrow transplant portfolio. Shares closed at $16.37, in a 52-week range of $5.31 to $21.00 and with a market cap of $531 million.

Spark Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ONCE) is the biggest name on this list, with a market cap of $4.2 billion, but it won’t be for long. This massive gain is the result of an acquisition agreement by Roche in late February. The stock has seen a gain of roughly 183% year to date. Shares closed Wednesday at $110.67, in a 52-week range of $34.53 to $114.20.

BioXcel Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: BTAI) is the last on the list, and its shares have seen a gain of 179% in 2019. This stock really took off in the beginning of February when the firm expanded its indication for its BXCL501 to treat symptoms associated with opioid drug withdrawal. Shares closed at $10.75, in a 52-week range of $2.41 to $14.79. The market cap is $168 million.


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