Cancer is one of the most researched diseases globally, with innumerable research companies with extensive drug pipelines developing treatments and therapies for the disease. Nearly 2 million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in the United States this year, and more than 600,000 of those cases are expected to be fatal.
Thus, biotech companies are under pressure to develop effective drugs to combat the disease. They have been conducting multiple clinical trials to extend cancer patients’ survival rates and duration of response and are adopting advanced technologies in immunotherapies to capitalize on the heightened need for cancer treatments. The global interventional oncology market is expected to grow at a 6.8% CAGR over the next five years to hit $2.9 billion by 2026. In fact, positive results from clinical trials reported by multiple biotech companies have boosted investor optimism regarding the growth potential of this industry. This is evident in Loncar Cancer Immunotherapy ETF’s (CNCR) 7.2% returns over the past month versus SPDR S&P 500 Trust ETF’s (SPY) 1.4% gains.
AstraZeneca PLC (AZN)
AZN is a Cambridge-based biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines in the areas of oncology, cardiovascular, renal and metabolism, respiratory, infection, neuroscience, and autoimmunity worldwide. The company serves primary care and specialty care physicians through distributors and local representative offices.
The results of the ELEVATE-RR Phase III trial of AZN’s CALQUENCE were announced on June 7. The trial demonstrated non-inferior progression-free survival (PFS) and statistically fewer events of atrial fibrillation versus ibrutinib in patients previously treated with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. These data provide compelling evidence that CALQUENCE is a preferred option for people living with this chronic and devastating disease. AZN expects to secure good market penetration with this product in the near-term.
In an announcement on June 4, updated results from its positive PACIFIC Phase III trial showed AZN’s IMFINZI has a clinically meaningful overall survival and progression-free survival benefit at five years in patients with Stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., and the company’s longest-ever survival recorded in an immunotherapy trial is likely to gain recognition at the global level in the near-term.
During its fiscal year 2021 first quarter, ended March 31, AZN’s total revenues increased 15.3% year-over-year to $7.32 billion. Revenue from its oncology segment increased 20% year-over-year to $3.02 billion. The company’s gross profit came in at $5.46 billion, up 10.6% from the prior-year period. Its operating profit is reported at $1.90 billion, which represents a 55.3% gain from the prior-year period. AZN’s total comprehensive income increased 379.6% year-over-year to $1.51 billion. Its EPS increased 101.7% year-over-year to $1.19.
A $0.76 consensus EPS estimate for the current quarter, ending June 30, 2021, represents a 57.6% year-over-year improvement. AZN surpassed the Street’s EPS estimates in three of the trailing four quarters. The $7.47 billion consensus revenue estimate for the current quarter represents a 19% rise from the prior-year period. The stock’s EPS is expected to grow at a 18.5% rate over the next five years. AZN has climbed 18.1% over the past three months to close yesterday’s trading session at $58.84.
It’s no surprise that AZN has an overall B rating, which equates to Buy in our POWR Ratings system. The POWR Ratings are calculated by considering 118 different factors, with each factor weighted to an optimal degree.
The stock has a B grade for Value, Stability and Quality. To see additional POWR Ratings for AZN’s Growth, Sentiment and Momentum, click here.
AZN is ranked #15 of 229 stocks in the Medical – Pharmaceuticals industry.
Amgen Inc. (AMGN)
AMGN is a biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures, and delivers human therapeutics for the treatment of serious illness in the areas of oncology/hematology, cardiovascular disease and neuroscience. The company distributes its products through pharmaceutical wholesale distributors and direct-to-consumer channels.
On June 1, AMGN and Kyowa Kirin Co., Ltd. announced an agreement to jointly develop and commercialize KHK4083, which is Kyowa Kirin’s Phase 3-ready anti-OX40 fully human monoclonal antibody in development for the treatment of atopic dermatitis, with potential in other autoimmune diseases. Both companies hope to witness good sales from the commercialization of KHK4083 from various global markets.
On May 28, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved LUMAKRAS for the treatment of adult patients with KRAS G12C-mutated locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Based on its good overall response rate (ORR) and duration of response (DoR), the company hopes to gain expanded market reach in the coming months.
For its fiscal year 2021 second quarter, ended March 31, AMGN’s operating income has increased 5% sequentially to $2.86 billion. As of March 31, 2021, the company had $6.11 billion in cash and cash equivalents.
Analysts expect AMGN’s revenue to improve 3.2% year-over-year for the current quarter, ending June 30, 2021, to $6.41 billion. The stock surpassed consensus EPS estimates in each of the trailing four quarters. Analysts expect the stock’s EPS to grow at 6.4% per annum over the next five years. AMGN has gained 7.2% over the past six months and closed yesterday’s trading session at $244.64.
AMGN’s POWR Ratings reflect this promising outlook. The stock has an overall B rating, which equates to Buy in our POWR Ratings system.
The stock has an A grade for Quality, and a B grade for Value and Stability. In addition to the POWR Ratings grades we’ve just highlighted, one can see AMGN’s ratings for Growth, Momentum and Sentiment here.
AMGN is ranked #11 of 487 stocks in the Biotech industry.
Incyte Corporation (INCY)
INCY is a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialization of proprietary therapeutics used primarily in oncology worldwide. The company has several product candidates in research and clinical development stages partially through partnerships with other drugmakers for various cancers, inflammatory ailments, and other conditions.
On June 4, 2021, INCY and MorphoSys AG’s (MOR) subsidiary MorphoSys US Inc., announced new three-year follow-up data from its ongoing Phase 2 L-MIND study of tafasitamab in combination with lenalidomide in adult patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). A favorable overall response rate and duration of response from patients in the L-MIND study suggests that this combination treatment regimen could potentially offer a paradigm shift and long-term disease control.
On June 3, INCY announced the pivotal Phase 3 TRuE-V clinical trial program results evaluating the safety and efficacy of its ruxolitinib cream in adolescent and adult patients with vitiligo. Based on its positive results, INCY plans to submit marketing applications for ruxolitinib cream to the U.S. FDA and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in the second half of 2021. If approved, this product would be the first and only medical treatment for repigmentation in vitiligo.
For its fiscal 2021 first quarter, ended March 31, INCY’s total revenues came in at $604.72 million, which represents a 6.4% improvement year-over-year. The company’s income from operations is reported at $98.80 million for the quarter, compared to a $664 million loss in the prior-year period. INCY’s non-GAAP net income was $148.76 million, versus a $618.92 million loss in the year-ago period. Its non-GAAP EPS is reported at $0.67 compared to a $2.86 loss per share in the prior-year period.
Analysts expect INCY’s EPS for the next quarter, ending September 30, 2021, to be $0.72, up 215% year-over-year. It surpassed the Street’s EPS estimates in three of the trailing four quarters. For the current quarter, analysts expect INCY’s revenue to be $738.13 million, representing a 18.9% rise from the prior-year period. INCY has gained 7.5% over the past month to close yesterday’s trading session at $87.53.
INCY’s strong fundamentals are reflected in its POWR Ratings. The stock has an overall B rating, which equates to Buy in our proprietary rating system.
The stock has a B grade for Value and Quality. We have also graded INCY for Growth, Stability, Sentiment and Momentum. Click here to access all INCY’s ratings.
INCY is ranked #20 in the Biotech industry.
Champions Oncology, Inc. (CSBR)
CSBR develops and sells technology solutions and products to personalize the development and use of oncology drugs. The company’s Tumorgraft Technology Platform is an approach to personalizing cancer care based on the implantation of human tumors in immune-deficient mice. It markets its products through the internet, word of mouth, and a sales force to patients and physicians.
On January 19, 2021, CSBR partnered with Code Ocean, a cloud-based platform for computational research, to expand the functionality of its SaaS program, Lumin Bioinformatics. The partnership will focus on enhancements involved in secure data integration and sharing workflows within the Lumin platform and could transform Lumin into an enterprise-level solution, supporting CSBR’s efforts to broaden its market.
CSBR’s oncology services revenues for its fiscal year 2021 third quarter, ended January 31, 2021, increased 20% year-over-year to $10.81 million. The company’s income from operations was reported at $763,000, which represented a 76.2% year-over-year improvement, while its net income increased 81.8% year-over-year to $740,000. Its EPS increased 66.7% from the prior-year period to $0.05.
A $10.44 million consensus revenue estimate for the current quarter represents a 19.7% rise from the prior-year period. Analysts expect the stock’s EPS to grow at a 15% rate per annum over the next five years. CSBR has gained 34.3% over the past nine months and closed yesterday’s trading session at $9.47.
CSBR’s POWR Ratings reflect its solid prospects. The company has an overall B rating, which translates to Buy in our proprietary ratings system.
CSBR has a B grade for Growth and Sentiment. In addition to the POWR Ratings grades we’ve just highlighted, one can see CSBR’s ratings for Stability, Momentum, Quality and Value here.
CSBR is ranked #16 in the Biotech industry.
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AZN shares were trading at $58.77 per share on Friday afternoon, down $0.07 (-0.12%). Year-to-date, AZN has gained 19.79%, versus a 13.86% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
About the Author: Sweta Vijayan
Sweta is an investment analyst and journalist with a special interest in finding market inefficiencies. She’s passionate about educating investors, so that they may find success in the stock market. More...
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