Do you have these healthcare stocks on your watch list today?
Healthcare stocks have long been a popular segment of the stock market among investors. Regardless of geopolitical sentiments or the state of the economy, the industry would always be relevant given its importance in our daily lives. Stocks in the health care sector would thrive on new drug discovery or positive trial results. Likewise, there will be setbacks when the drugs fail to meet expectations. So that makes the industry quite interesting in its own way. After all, there is a continuous stream of new developments.
For example, Eiger BioPharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: EIGR) is up more than 40% this week. This is largely due to its recent announcement regarding the effect of peginterferon lambda (Lambda) on patients infected with the coronavirus. According to its phase 3 TOGETHER study, the drug appears to significantly reduce the risk of hospitalizations or emergency room visits longer than six hours by 50% and death by 60%. Naturally, any new developments aimed at reducing the impact of the coronavirus would be welcome.
Elsewhere, Apdemanden has announced it will go public by merging with the special purpose acquisition company Brookline Capital Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: BCAC). The agreement will likely strengthen Aexigen’s track record to advance its lead Phase 2 development program, sotigalimab. In addition, it would hopefully maximize the therapeutic potential of Apexigen’s APXiMAB™ antibody discovery platform. All in all, it’s understandable why the healthcare sector is a staple among investors. With that in mind, here are 3 of the top healthcare stocks in the stock market today.
Healthcare stocks to watch today
Merck & Co.
To start the list, we’ll look at the global healthcare company, Merck & Co.. Essentially, the company offers various health solutions such as prescription drugs, vaccines, biological therapies, and even animal health products. It sells human health pharmaceuticals primarily to drug wholesalers and retailers, hospitals, governments and managed healthcare providers. Today, despite stock market volatility, MRK stock has shown resilience over the past year. Additionally, there have been several positive developments recently that may excite investors.
To begin with, the company and Astra Zeneca (NASDAQ: AZN) recently announced additional positive results from the Olympia Phase 3 trial. The trial aims to determine the efficacy of adjuvant therapy for patients with high-risk, early-onset, BRCA-mutated, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative breast cancer. Specifically, for patients who have been treated with neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy. Much to society’s delight, LYNPARZA has shown a statistically significant improvement in overall survival compared to the use of a placebo. To say the least, this is a great development for the perspective of breast cancer treatment.
In addition to this, Merck’s collaboration with the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer and the European Thoracic Oncology Platform has also shown encouraging results from their pivotal Phase 3 trial KEYNOTE-091. Adjuvant treatment with KEYTRUDA appears to improve disease-free survival and reduce the risk of disease recurrence or death by 24% compared to placebo in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. In fact, this would be the 6th positive pivotal study evaluating a KEYTRUDA-based regimen in the early stages of cancer. Thus, it has now become a mainstay in the treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer. Given these exciting developments, would you consider adding MRK stocks to your watchlist?
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Another big healthcare company right now would be AbbVie. For those who don’t know, this is a research-based biopharmaceutical company. For the most part, it is involved in the research and development, manufacturing, marketing and sale of drugs and therapies. In less than a decade, society has invested more than $50 billion in research to discover and develop new drugs. Despite all the medical advances, there are still many diseases whose needs are not being met. Therefore, AbbVie aims to be a forerunner in making a positive impact and providing a better level of care.
On Wednesday, AbbVie announced that its RINVOQ (upadacitinib) has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the treatment of adults with moderate to severe active ulcerative colitis. The drug is intended for patients who have had an inadequate response or intolerance to one or more tumor necrosis factor blockers. Well, most patients who received RINVOQ achieved clinical response by week 2 and clinical remission without steroids at one year. This is an important step for the treatment of ulcerative colitis, as it remains one of the diseases whose unpredictable symptoms can affect a patient’s daily activities.
In addition, there was another drug approved by Health Canada for the treatment of adults with active psoriatic arthritis. The Company’s SKYRIZI (risankizumab) can be used alone or in combination with a conventional non-biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drug. This is the second indication for SKYRIZI in Canada where it has already been approved for the treatment of adults with plaque psoriasis in 2019. With this in mind, would ABBV action be one of the primary actions of health care to watch now?
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Finally, we have one of the pioneers who developed the coronavirus vaccine, Modern. In detail, the biotech company is focusing its resources on creating transformative drugs based on messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA). He believes mRNA is the “software of life” because every cell in the body uses it to provide real-time instructions to make the proteins needed to drive every aspect of biology. The stock of mRNA has increased by more than 15% over the past month.
Two years into the pandemic, the company’s coronavirus vaccine remains an integral part of our pandemic response efforts. Earlier this week, Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare announced a deal with Moderna for an additional 70 million doses of its booster vaccine. If authorized, delivery will begin in the second half of 2022. Additionally, Health Canada also recently approved the use of its vaccine for active immunization in children ages 6-11. This follows the recent authorization of its vaccine in the same age group in Australia and the European Union.
Meanwhile, in the United States, Moderna announced that it had submitted an application to the FDA for an emergency use authorization amendment to authorize the fourth dose of its coronavirus vaccine. This is based on data recently published in the United States and Israel following the emergence of Omicron. As such, demand for the company’s vaccine would likely still be in high demand in the near term. All things considered, should investors pay more attention to MRNA stocks?
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