The second half of 2020 is well underway, and with markets recovering, one of the strongest industries leading the charge has been biotech. Although the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (NASDAQ: IBB) is only up about 12% year to date, there have been some breakout companies as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Practically any company attempting almost anything COVID-19 related has seen massive gains. However, other big winners in the industry are not tied to the pandemic, and there are likely more to come for the rest of the year.
Remember that biotechs offer big risk but big rewards as well. These are seen as some of the more speculative companies in the market because a single clinical trial could either be a huge sunk cost or the next blockbuster drug.
24/7 Wall St. has compiled a list of some speculative biotech plays that could see gains of up to 300% in the coming months. Remember that no single analyst call should ever be used as a sole reason to buy or sell a stock. We also have included the most recent short interest data on each company to show if there are widescale bets against these companies, or whether these are still flying under the radar.
Last week, Dynavax Technologies Corp. (NASDAQ: DVAX) was in the news with earnings, and H.C. Wainwright’s target hike from $12 to $14 in July was walked back down to $12 after the report. Dynavax shares recently hit $12 after big news-related buying interest, but the stock now is back under $8.
The company had been known for using the human body’s immune responses through toll-like receptor stimulation in a hepatitis B vaccine, but the newer interest now is in its co-development of a vaccine candidate to prevent COVID,-19 and the stock also moved on news that it was selling its SD-101 oncology program for up to $250 million in milestone payments plus future net royalties.
As of the most recent settlement date, 13.51 million shares are short, and it would take short sellers almost two days to cover all their bets. Dynavax most recently closed at $7.79 a share, in a 52-week range of $1.80 to $12.44. The consensus price target is $16.00.
This clinical-stage biotechnology outfit is known for targeting antibody-drug conjugate therapies for cancers. While ImmunoGen Inc. (NASDAQ: IMGN) is speculative and its revenues are effectively royalty-based at this point, one analyst sees nearly 200% of implied upside based on upcoming data. The analyst’s call came after its shares sold off, despite its revenues being nearly immaterial at this stage.
Canaccord Genuity’s John Newman reiterated his Buy rating and $12 price target for ImmunoGen earlier this month. His take is that its Soraya is still largely on track despite COVID-19-related delays as patients wanted to stay away from health care clinical study settings over fears of encountering the novel coronavirus.
Essentially, the firm sees positive Phase 2 data from the single-arm Soraya trial in the third quarter of 2021 rather than mid-2021, but this is also expected to support accelerated FDA approval. The firm also expects positive data from the Phase 3 Mirasol study in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer patients in the first half of 2022 that will support full approval. This sets up a long amount of time between now and then, but that’s nearly 200% in implied upside to the price target and it has a $703 million market cap.
Some 16.20 million ImmunoGen were short, with more than six days to cover. The stock last closed at $4.03, in a 52-week range of $1.95 to $7.07. The consensus price target is $6.96.