While penny stocks are well-known for volatility, so too are certain sectors. Possibly no other sector has continued its volatile trend throughout history better than biotechnology. With things like tech stocks, of course, R&D plays a role, and you may have a few updates about upcoming products. But aside from earnings, what other catalysts are frequently in play?
There are so many moving parts when you talk about biotech, and each “move” can become its own catalyst. Additionally, there are countless industry and investor conferences these companies present at. Plenty of interim results also get released. These come ahead of main data sets, which can also act as potential catalysts.
Plus, you’ve also got sympathy sentiment from the sporadic M&A deals being done. Just think back to the early days of the pandemic. Biotech stocks were some of the biggest names in the market at the time. Whether it was a potential vaccine development or rapid test, sector stocks were red hot.
What began as a focus on vaccine stocks has now evolved into a broader focus on biotech. The millions of new traders who jumped into stocks this year became all too familiar with this niche’s volatility. Now, we see somewhat of a resurgence in many smaller biotech names.
Further emphasizing this is the momentum that has built up in small-cap stocks, in general. If you look at major benchmark ETFs like the Russell 2000 Small-Cap (NYSE: IWM), you’ll see how much stronger it has rallied than the SPY or QQQ over the last few days. In this light, are any of these biotech penny stocks on your watch list?Biotech Penny Stocks To Watch
- GT Biopharma Inc. (NASDAQ: GTBP)
- Oragenics Inc. (NYSE: OGEN)
- Auris Medical Holdings (NASDAQ: EARS)
- Caladrius Biosciences Inc. (NASDAQ: CLBS)
On this list of penny stocks, you’ll likely see a few familiar faces, especially if you’ve been a reader of PennyStocks.com. In line with this, GT Biopharma has been one of the top biotech penny stocks we’ve discussed for months. GTBP was one of the OTC penny stocks to watch just a few weeks ago. A recent uplisting to the Nasdaq has brought it to a new level of market exposure. The company focuses on immunotherapy. Its lead compound, GTB-3550, has an initial indication for acute myeloid leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome. Interim data has already been released, showing progress in its current Phase I/II clinical trials.
Not only were no toxicities observed (remember the CRS issue I mentioned above with other treatments), but significant benefits were observed after treatment with GTB-3550 in the seven patients that have been enrolled & have also completed therapy. An 8th patient has also begun treatment in this trial. However, the underlying focus is on the technology platform GTB-3550 is based on. GT Biopharma has developed what it calls TriKE™ therapeutics. It has also been evaluated in ovarian, breast, prostate, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, and lung cancer models.
This week news surfaced showing the platform’s versatility. The company announced new data from a preclinical study for its ROR1 TriKE™ prostate cancer product candidate.
“We are pleased to report our ROR1 TriKE™ has passed this important preclinical milestone and demonstrated effectiveness in promoting redirected and target-specific killing by NK cells. We plan to evaluate the ROR1 TriKE™ in additional IND-enabling preclinical studies to transition to a Phase I/II clinical trial,” said Anthony J. Cataldo, GT Biopharma’s Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer.Oragenics Inc.
Oragenics is another familiar face among biotech penny stocks to watch. The company is a vaccine developer that you may have read about during the early portion of the pandemic. Oragenics is developing its candidate, Terra CoV-2, to combat coronavirus and develop other treatments for infectious diseases.
This week, OGEN stock also gained attention after a recent update. The company announced a material transfer agreement with Biodextris Inc. for the use of three intranasal mucosal adjuvants in the Company’s Terra CoV-2 vaccine against COVID-19.
Things like adjuvants get added to vaccines in building upon their immunogenicity. BDX100, BDX300, and BDX301 are considered “proteosome-based” adjuvants made up of proteins and lipopolysaccharides. The company has highlighted that these have improved attributes, including better immune response, manufacturing efficiency, and the benefits of intranasal vaccine administration.
“Given the benefits of intranasal administration along with Terra CoV-2’s other advantages, including the potential to be stored and distributed at refrigerated temperatures, we believe there is significant opportunity to help address the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the post-near-term immunization phase where booster shots and potential effectiveness against a variety of COVID-19 variant strains may continue to be required.”Alan Joslyn, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of OragenicsAuris Medical Holdings
Shares of Auris Medica have been on the move for several months. While there has been much more volatility during that time, EARS stock has managed to climb significantly from where it was trading at the start of November. What’s more, the penny stock has managed to climb as high as $6.60 following positive efficacy data of its lead treatment, AM-301. Here you have another instance of virus-fueled momentum. AM-301 is a nasal spray to mitigate the risk of Sars-CoV-2 infection.
Fast-forward to this week, and EARS stock continued climbing. There haven’t been any major headlines from the company this month. However, sympathy sentiment could be playing a role in light of the “reopening trade.” In this case, vaccine distribution is a big highlight. However, once people get back to “normal life,” preventative care could become another factor. Something as simple as a nasal spray that protects against the virus even with immunization going on.
The company has initiated a clinical investigation for the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Results from the allergen challenge chamber study could come as soon as next quarter. However, with heightened exposure to virus-related stocks, EARS may have gained attention in light of the latest discussion on reopening. We’ll have to see how this story unfolds and will update as developments surface.Caladrius Biosciences Inc.
Another one of the more volatile names on this list is Caladrius Biosciences Inc. The stock kicked off 2021 with a bang, rallying from $1.43 to highs of $4.89 before the end of January. The bulk of the move came after Caladrius announced that it treated the first patient in its Phase 2b FREEDOM trial of CLBS16. This is the company’s treatment candidate for coronary microvascular dysfunction.
But this isn’t the only pipeline treatment the company has. This month, Caladrius highlighted progress in its CLBS12 treatment for Buerger’s Disease. Last week, the company announced that the FDA granted orphan drug designation to CLBS12.
David J. Mazzo, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Caladrius, explained, “With this designation, we can now engage FDA in discussions to define the most efficient and rapid development pathway to registration in the U.S. Achieving orphan designation for CLBS12 takes us one step closer to realizing our goal of fulfilling the unmet medical need for Buerger’s Disease patients around the world.”
Furthermore, the analyst community has also begun shifting its outlook. Brookline Capital Management recently boosted its price target. The firm lifted the $7 target to $10. It currently maintains a buy rating on the stock. Compared to Monday’s closing price of $1.83, this target is 446% higher.