Bay Area Biopharmas Among Top Wall Street Winners

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Bay Area Biopharmas Among Top Wall Street Winners

From GEN/editor Alex Philippidis:

“In a (Mostly) Record Year for Biopharma Stocks, These Public Companies Made the Most for Investors”

“Until the threat of price curbs started driving investors away in September, biotech stocks enjoyed a blissful 2015 marked by record high share prices and a ballooning number of initial public offerings. But the market swoon that sent shares falling late last year didn’t completely wipe out gains for stocks—at least according to the results of two key exchange-traded funds….

Below is a list of the top 10 best stock performers of 2015. Each item in the list presents a top stock performer’s basic information: company name; stock exchange; trading symbol; closing prices as of December 31, 2015 and December 31, 2014; percentage rise or fall in the closing prices; and brief summary of the factors accounting for company’s good fortune.”vc

(Bay Area companies)



December 31, 2015: $2.21

December 31, 2014: $0.79

% Change: 179.7%

The company enjoyed a doubling of its share price between March 2 and March 30, following the announcement of its Epigenomic Regulator Program, and successful completion of a Phase I clinical trial with the program’s lead product candidate DUR-928. The results of that trial caused shares to jump another 43% between May 18 and June 5, when the price reached its all-year high of $3.23. The results were, namely, favorable safety data from a multi-dose trial of DUR-928, a potential treatment for metabolic diseases such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). DUR-928 may also be a treatment for acute kidney injury (AKI) and other types of acute organ injury, the company added. DUR-928 advanced to a single-ascending-dose Phase Ib trial in patients with NASH in January of this year.

#9. Anthera Pharmaceuticals


December 31, 2015: $4.64

December 31, 2014: $1.58

% Change: 193.7%

Shares of company stock more than doubled between May 22 and June 18, reaching $9.59 at the end of this period, two days after the company said that it had met its enrollment target for the CHABLIS-SC1 Phase III clinical trial evaluating blisibimod for the treatment of lupus. The company regained full global rights to the compound in September after its development partner in Japan, Zenyaku, terminated a collaboration to co-develop the drug there. Rather than sell off shares, investors sent them 21% higher, to $9.60, between the day of the termination announcement September 14 and September 18. Another 49% increase took place between July 9 and July 27, when shares reached their all-year high of $11.11. The surge coincided with a public offering of stock that raised net cash proceeds of approximately $26.9 million, the company disclosed in its third-quarter Form 10-Q regulatory filing. The company’s first significant stock gain of 2015 was a 25% bump, to $3.25, on February 10, the day the company trumpeted a successful completion of an interim analysis of CHABLIS-SC1.

#4. Anacor Pharmaceuticals


December 31, 2015: $112.97

December 31, 2014: $32.25

% Change: 250.3%

July was a sizzling hot month for the company. It wasn’t the weather, but a strong pair of Phase III trial results for crisaborole, a treatment for mild to moderate eczema. The PDE-4-inhibiting topical ointment met its primary and secondary endpoints in the pivotal studies, prompting the company to plan a first-half 2016 NDA filing with the FDA—and sending the share price 56% higher, to $131.93, on July 13; shares kept climbing, reaching $152.25 on August 4. Investors also warmed to the company because of growing revenue for Kerydin® (tavaborole), a toenail fungus treatment marketed by Novartis’ Sandoz unit following FDA approval in 2014. During the third quarter, the company racked up $21.1 million in total Kerydin revenue, up 18.8% over Q2 2015; shares rose 33%, to $122.09, between October 22 and the release of Q3 results on November 3.

#3. Exelixis


December 31, 2015: $5.64

December 31, 2014: $1.44

% Change: 291.7%

The company placed at number 3 on GEN’s List of Wall Street Losers of 2014, after axing about 70% of its workforce (160 jobs) following a Phase III trial failure for Cometriq® (cabozantinib) in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. But in 2015, the company was a Wall Street winner, thanks in part to share prices spiking upward 50%, reaching $5.88 on July 20 following positive Phase III results for a reformulated Cometriq in advanced renal cell carcinoma, showing it reduced the risk of disease progression or death by 42% compared to Afinitor (everolimus). The company submitted an NDA for Cometriq to the FDA on December 23. The company hopes to repeat the success it enjoyed in November, when the FDA and the European Commission both approved Cotellic™ (cobimetinib) in combination with Genentech’s Zelboraf® (vemurafenib) for advanced melanoma. Genentech parent Roche will share profits from Cotellic with the company—whose shares jumped 19% between August 24 and 27, reaching $6.08 the day Cotellic won its first approval, in Switzerland.

Full list/feature


February 8th, 2016|