Among biotech stocks, there are several established names that have products in markets and deep pipelines. These companies deliver predictable revenue and earnings, and maybe even a dividend for good measure. This combination makes these companies attractive to value investors.
In general, however, investing in biotech stocks is not for risk-averse investors. Many of these companies are smaller players. They may or may not be generating revenue, much less profit.
But it’s usually at these companies where innovation is taking place. These companies are on the leading edge of creating drugs and therapeutics for some of our most perplexing, and chronic diseases and conditions.
These companies present an intriguing opportunity for growth investors. If one of their products receives FDA approval, you can see significant growth in your portfolio. That kind of foresight requires research.
So far in 2022 the biotech sector has been tough for growth and value investors. In this article, I’m looking at seven biotech stocks that look like good options to move significantly higher in 2023.
If you’re looking at a list of biotech stocks to buy, AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) needs to be on the list. ABBV stock is up 55% in the last five years. But since hitting its 52-week high in April, the stock is down 20%.
Some of that is the result of existing macroeconomic conditions. But there was a great deal of concern about what would happen to the company’s top and bottom lines when it lost patent protection on its flagship drug, Humira.
However, the company is now projecting that two of its new drugs, Skyrizi and Rinvoq will provide more than $15 billion in annual revenue by 2025. To put that in perspective that total would be more than Humira did at its peak level.
And AbbVie has a deep pipeline of candidates in various stages of clinical trials. These cover areas such as neuroscience, oncology, virology, and aesthetics.
AbbVie is expected to show low single digit declines in both earnings and revenue in the next five years. That may keep growth investors away, but income investors will love the company’s dividend which currently has a yield of over 4%.
Regeneron (NASDAQ:REGN) has many approved and commercially available drugs and therapeutics, and the company has many more in various stages of clinical trials in its pipeline. Still, the company only became a household name when it received emergency use authorization for its Covid-19 treatment.
That wasn’t enough to prevent the stock from falling victim to the broader sell-off market. It’s up 15% on the year though and recently announced two positive developments.
First, its Aflibercept pipeline candidate met the pair of primary endpoints in two global trials. The second development involved its commercially available Dupixent.
The drug showed significant improvement in patients with prurigo nodularis, an inflammatory skin disease. If the company can get FDA approval it would be the first such drug to be approved for that indication.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX)
Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) is best known as the world’s leader in cystic fibrosis (CF) treatments.
The company has four drugs in market, and its most recent addition, Trikafta, is generating a significant amount of the company’s revenue. Better still, Vertex is also developing the most likely competitor to Trikafta.
Aa recent breakthrough in its long-time partnership with CRISPR Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CRSP) makes VRTX stock look very appetizing in 2023. The two companies have been working on a gene-editing treatment for two rare blood disorders.
In early October, regulators informed the companies that they could start the review process. The two companies expect to complete their rolling application by March 2023.
VRTX stock has a mean price target of $316.75. That’s a 7% upside from its current price, but analysts have not had an opportunity to reassess the stock in light of the new announcement. With the company due to report earnings on Nov. 1, investors should pay attention to upgrades to the stock.
Effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease have proven to be elusive. One of the companies that have been immersed in finding a cure is Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB).
Biogen has been working on drugs that can reduce the buildup of amyloid plaques which is thought to be critical to stemming the advancement of the disease.
The company’s leading drug candidate Aducanumab was granted FDA approval early in 2022 despite an advisory panel recommending that the drug not be approved over questions on its efficacy.
However, in late September Biogen received better-than-expected results for Lecanemab, another one of its drug candidates. This is causing some new thinking on focusing efforts on removing amyloid plaque.
Biogen is partnering with Eisai, a Japanese pharmaceutical company, to develop Lecanemab. The two companies will split the drug’s profits 50/50. While Lecanemab takes center stage, Biogen has an extensive pipeline that features several drugs in various clinical stages.
Eli Lilly (LLY)
Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) is one company that stands to benefit from the renewed interest in removing amyloid plaque to treat Alzheimer’s. The biotech giant has Donanemab, which is designed to reduce the buildup of beta-amyloid plaque.
Donanemab is not yet commercially available. However, it received a breakthrough therapy designation from the FDA in 2021 and is expecting the agency’s decision in early 2023.
The company also recently received word that the FDA was fast tracking its investigation of tirzepatide. This is designed to treat obese adults or adults who are overweight with weight-related comorbidities such as diabetes. Eli Lilly expects its rolling application to be completed by April 2023.
This should remind investors about an important consideration when investing in biotech stocks. Investors should pay attention to the company’s pipeline. Eli Lilly has the ability to generate revenue and earnings from more than one candidate, which helps smooth the risk of owning the stock.
Axsome Therapeutics (AXSM)
When it comes to biotech stocks, a helpful strategy is to ride the hot hand, which means looking for companies that have received or are likely to receive approval for a new drug or treatment. That’s the case with Axsome Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AXSM) which is developing multiple candidates designed to treat central nervous system disorders.
In August, Axsome received FDA approval of AUVELITY, the company’s drug candidate which they claim is “the first and only rapid-acting oral treatment approved with labeling or statistically significant improvement in depressive symptoms compared to placebo starting at one week.” This designation came at the conclusion of the FDA’s priority review.
The company has another candidate, sunosi, that met primary endpoint in a trial that was testing improvement in cognitive function in cognitively impaired patients with excessive daytime sleepiness that is associated with obstructive sleep apnea.
Exelixis (NASDAQ:EXEL) is the only company in this group that I’m mentioning for its role in treating cancer, but it’s the company’s Cabozantinib franchise that makes EXEL stock so compelling.
This franchise accounts for over 80% of the company’s revenue and gives it a firm cash base that it’s using to develop a robust early-stage pipeline of additional candidates. To that end, the company recently announced that it was expanding its clinical trial collaboration and supply agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) to help advance two of its drug candidates for use against advanced solid tumors.
As if the race for a cure for cancer needed any more boosting, President Biden has made a moonshot to cure cancer a priority of his administration.
On the date of publication, Chris Markoch did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.