Top 5 Biotech Penny Stocks to Watch in 2017

Investing in biotech penny stocks is one of the most exciting and dangerous sectors of the stock market, it definitely isn’t for the faint-hearted! These kind of stocks are so volatile as their value is largely attributed to products gaining FDA approval. You could lose 90% of your money by picking a biotechnology company that fails to get FDA approval. Curing diseases is big business and millions are made and lost based on one decision. In what other industry can a business burn through hundreds of millions of investors money and end up with nothing to show for all their effort? Despite all the risks, the healthcare market offers a massive opportunity for astute investors willing to perform their own due diligence and not get caught up in the hype of making 2000% gains overnight. Below is my list of some interesting biotech’s to watch this year, remember only invest money you can afford to lose. 

1. Apricus Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ: APRI) is a bio-pharmaceutical company creating new innovative medicines focusing on treating urology and rheumatology. Their share price is currently trading at $1.08 and has a 52 week high of $4.94 with a low of $0.86.

Apricus Biosciences has two products in the pipeline – Vitaros and Rayva. Vitaros is a fast acting cream to treat those unfortunate guys who suffer from erectile dysfunction. The product is currently approved for commercialization in Europe and Canada and is in development in the US. Their rights and assets have been sold to Ferring Pharmaceuticals. US NDA RE-Submission is expected in the third quarter of 2017 and has huge sales potential.

Apricus Biosciences released last quarter results on May 11, 2017. Net income was $8.1 million compared to a net loss of $2.5 million for the first quarter of 2016. EPS was $1.04 compared to a loss per share of $0.46. Net income was high due to the gain recorded in the sale of assets to Ferring Pharmaceuticals. Cash at the end of the first quarter is $10.6 million compared to $2.1 million as of December 31, 2016. Analysts estimate EPS to grow 70% this year and 147% in the next year.

2. MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ: MNKD) is a biotechnology company that develops therapeutic products to treat various types of diabetes and cancer. MannKind Corp is currently trading at $1.24 with a 52 week high of $5.10 and a low of $0.67. 

The company’s main product is FDA-approved AFREZZA, the only inhaled insulin on the market to help adults control blood sugar levels during mealtime. AFREZZA reaches it’s maximum effect after just 12-15 minutes and can stay active in the body up to three hours after use. They’ve started aggressively promoting the product via TV advertisements to raise awareness within the US and educate diabetics that insulin doesn’t just have to be injected. Despite disappointing initial sales figures, sales are starting to pick up and MannKind has enjoyed a solid start to Q2. 

Another medication in the pipeline is an inhalable epinephrine to treat to patients who suffer life threatening allergic reactions. Although the product is still in the early stages of development it could potentially be a cheaper alternative to Mylan’s EpiPen. An inhalable version of epinephrine could disrupt the marketplace that is dominated purely by EpiPen but this could take years to get approved by the FDA and will rely on sales of AFREZZA to vastly improve. 

The company released its last quarter results on May 10, 2017. Revenues for the first quarter were $3.0 million and deferred revenue of $1.8 million. They did not report revenues for the same quarter last year. Net loss for the quarter was $16.3 million when compared to net loss of $24.9 million for last year. EPS of -$0.17 compared to -$0.29. EPS is expected to grow 130% this year and 8% next year. Cash at the end of quarter was $48 million when compared to $22.9 million at the end of December 2016. They recently made significant changes to their management team so they’re better equipped to deal with growth.         

3. CorMedix Inc (NYSE: CRMD) is a pharmaceutical and medical device company focused on developing and commercialization of therapeutic products for the prevention and treatment of cardiorenal disease. CorMedix is currently trading at $0.39. It has a 52 week high of $3.26 and a low of $0.36.

CorMedix’s main product Neutrolin, is a non anti-biotic solution that prevents infections and thrombosis associated with central venous catheters. It is CE mark certified in certain European countries. The company recently entered into commercial collaboration with French based company Hemotech SAS, which will market the product in France and other European countries. In the US it is in Phase 3 stage. It has been granted FDA fast track status which would enable CorMedix to meet the officials more often and was identified as a Qualified Infectious Disease Product (QIDP), granted 10.5 years of potential market exclusivity. According to the estimates of WHO, US has about 250,000 Catheter-related blood stream infections and the cost is about $25,000 per infection.

The company released its last quarter results on May 11, 2017. It reported a net loss of $7.6 million compared to net loss of $4.1 million for the same period last year. With the recent Europe collaboration we should expect company to report revenues soon. The EPS is expected to grow 33% next year.

4. Viking Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: VKTX) is a promising clinical stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to treating patients with metabolic and endocrine disorders. Viking Therapeutics is now trading at $1.16 with a 52 week high of $1.70 and a low of $0.90.

Viking Therapeutics has exclusive worldwide rights of five therapeutic programs in clinical trials and preclinical trials based on small molecules licensed from Ligand Pharmaceuticals. Company’s lead clinical program is VK5211, orally available, non-steroidal selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) in Phase 2 development for the treatment of patients recovering from non-elective hip fracture surgery. It is also developing selective thyroid receptor beta agonists for lipid disorders. Lead candidates are VK2809 and VK2014. It is targeting patients suffering from hypercholesterolemia, fatty lever disease, and X-ALD.VK0612 is developed with a main target of diabetes patients. Erythropoietin (EPO) acts on its receptor to stimulate the differentiation of bone marrow hematopoietic cells to form red blood cells. Ideally this is targeted to treat anemia patients. DiacylGlycerol Acyl Transferase-1 (DGAT-1) mediates absorption of fats from the gastrointestinal tract.

Viking Therapeutics released its last quarter results on May 10, 2017. Net loss for the quarter was $3.5 million compared to net loss of $1.9 million for the same period last year. Expenses increased due to clinical trials. They have made strong progress in the trails in the recent quarter. The cash at the end of the quarter was $12.3 million. EPS is expected to grow 76% this year. The company made a direct offering with accredited investors on June 14.

5. Catalyst Biosciences (NASDAQ: CBIO) is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on treating patients with hemophilia. Catalyst Biosciences is trading at $4.24. It has 52 week high of $28.50 and low of $3.64.

Factor VIIa marzeptacog alfa (activated) drug for the treatment of patients with hemophilia with inhibitors is expected to enter Phase 2/3 clinical trials in the fourth quarter of 2017. Factor IX CB 2679d/ISU304 is another drug in clinical trial stage. The company has partnered with ISU Abxis is targeted with patients with hemophilia B.

Catalyst Biosciences released its last quarter results on May 11, 2017. Contract revenue for the first quarter 2017 was $0.3 million compared to $0.1 million for the same period last year. Net loss was $4.1 million compared to $3.6 million for last year.EPS was -$4.57 compared to -$4.71 for last year. EPS is expected to grow 57% this year and 23% next year. Cash at the end of the quarter was $14.5 million and the company anticipates that the cash available is enough to sustain for the next 12 months.

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