Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) stock has been one of the few drug stocks that have lit up the investment world recently. The approval by U.S. regulators of its novel Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm sent its shares soaring.
Moreover, its clearance opens the door for its competitors, to rake in monstrous profits from the approval and sale of their own drug candidates. Upon the announcement in early June, BIIB stock leaped more than 60% to $407 per share.
Since then, BIIB pulled back to less than $345, but the stock is still up 40% in 2021.
This has been a year dominated by biotechs, primarily those developing vaccines and therapeutics for the novel coronavirus. However, Alzheimer’s is a market with massive scope and has been grossly underserved in terms of a viable and effective treatment.
The approval of Aduhelm opens up a wealth of new opportunities for neuro-focused biotechs to take their pipelines to the next level. This article looks at three of the best drug stocks that could be better investments in the Alzheimer’s realm at this time.
Drug Stocks To Buy: Annovis Bio (ANVS)
Annovis Bio has been touted as the closest competitor to Biogen at this time. It recently concluded its Phase 2 study on its Alzheimer’s drug ANVS401, which showed significant cognitive improvements in the participants. The study sets it up brilliantly for Phase 3 and a fast-track approval from the FDA.
ANVS stock, which started the year at about $8, is up more than 1,000% so far in 2021.
Its investigational candidate showed robust improvement in motor function in coordination and responsiveness in Parkinson’s patients. Full data will be available in the fall this year, but the data so far has outperformed Adulhelm. ANVS401 reduces the level of tau and amyloid in the brain, which reduces the development of tangles and plaques. Additionally, it also reduces the presence of neurotoxic proteins, which can potentially lead to cell death.
Cassava Sciences (SAVA)
Clinical stage biotechnology company Cassava Sciences has taken a different approach in tackling the Alzheimer’s epidemic. Most companies are focused on removing amyloid and plaque buildups from the brains of patients. However, Cassava focuses on the root cause of the buildups and aims to restore the core function of a type of scaffolding protein in the brain.
Cassava recently concluded its Phase 2 studies on its Simufilam drug, which showed a significant 10% improvement from its baseline cognition test. The study duration was only six months, whereas Biogen’s drug was much less effective, and its treatment duration was three times longer.
The company has secured funding from the National Institutes of Health to support its upcoming trials. SAVA stock is up a healthy 51% in the past month and has the potential to continue growing this year.
Eli Lilly (LLY)
Eli Lilly is an established pharmaceutical company with a broad product portfolio. Some of its products include insulin for diabetes; Taltz is curing plaque psoriasis; Alimta for cancer treatment; and Donanemab for Alzheimer’s. It’s been making waves as Donanemab won FDA Breakthrough Therapy designation. As a result, LLY stock is up 24% in the last three months.
After gaining breakthrough designation, the company plans to pursue accelerated FDA approval. Back in March, it had reported promising data from its Phase 2 study. It showed a substantial slowing down of cognitive decline on a commonly used scale compared to a placebo.
Seeing the smooth-sailing pathway for Biogen, investors expect the same for Lilly with Donanemab.
On the date of publication, Muslim Farooque 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.