Morning Movers in Biotech: Gilead Sciences, NewLink Genetics Corp. and Novartis AG

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

Let's take a look at the top stories in biotech and health care this morning -- keep an eye out for Gilead Sciences  (NASDAQ: GILD  ) , NewLink Genetics Corp.  (NASDAQ: NLNK  )  and Novartis AG  (NYSE: NVS  ) .

Gilead bouncing back?
Speculation about a potential biotech bubble hit fever pitch yesterday as one of the sector's top names, Gilead Sciences, fell for seemingly no reason. Moreover, Gilead's fall appears to have precipitated the fall of a number of other biotechs, in particular Celgene -- which traded in lock step with Gilead for most of the day. After market close, however, the reason for Gilead's fall became apparent: 39,000 bottles of the company's HIV treatment, Atripla, were recalled because of the presence of red silicone rubber particulates. Because this recall is likely to be only a minor setback for a behemoth like Gilead, I think the stock may have a better day today. And premarket trading appears to agree with my sentiment, as Gilead shares are currently up about 1% at the time of writing this article.  

NewLink Genetics continues its wild week
NewLink Genetics are down by almost 10% in premarket this morning after announcing that an independent review committee recommended the continuation of the company's late stage trial for algenpantucel-L, an experimental treatment for surgically resected pancreatic cancer. Presently, I don't see any other news--good or bad--to explain this drop. As such, I suspect this fall is a hangover from Monday's downgrade by research firm R.W. Baird that caused a 13% drop. Another possibility is that the market is correcting for the stock's blistering 71% rise so far this year. Put another way, this might be a sell the news type scenario, which makes sense since the stock is selling off in the face of what I view as a positive development. 

Novartis moving up on blood cancer drug trial
Shares of Novartis are green in premarket this morning following a positive late-stage trial for its experimental drug Jakavi indicated as a treatment for a rare form of blood cancer called polycythemia vera. Jakavi is currently approved as a treatment for another rare blood cancer known as myelofibrosis, where it saw sales of $163 million last year. If Jakavi receives approval as a treatment for polycythemia vera, analysts expect the drug to reach blockbuster status within a few years' time, with each indication generating peak sales in excess of $500 million. Jakavi's commercial prospects look particularly bright given that Sanofi's competing drug, fedratinib, had its development cut short recently due to safety concerns. All told, Jakavi is yet another reason for investors to take a good long look at Novartis. 

1 more stock to watch this morning
There's a huge difference between a good stock and a stock that can make you rich. The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it's one of those stocks that could make you rich. You can find out which stock it is in the special free report "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2867805, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/3/2015 1:37:52 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

George Budwell

George Budwell has been writing about healthcare and biotechnology companies at the Motley Fool since 2013. His primary interests are novel small molecule drugs, next generation vaccines, and cell therapies.

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,403.69 52.31 0.32%
S&P 500 1,958.92 10.06 0.52%
NASD 4,748.94 -1.04 -0.02%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/3/2015 1:22 PM
GILD $102.40 Down -1.87 -1.79%
Gilead Sciences CAPS Rating: *****
NLNK $44.45 Down -1.85 -4.00%
NewLink Genetics C… CAPS Rating: **
NVS $95.56 Down -0.04 -0.04%
Novartis CAPS Rating: ****