Today's Top Biotech Stocks: GW Pharmaceuticals, Inovio Pharmaceuticals and Novavax, Inc.

Today's top stories in biotech and health care.

Jun 6, 2014 at 8:45AM


Let's take a look at today's top stories in biotech and health care. Keep an eye out for GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GWPH)Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO) and Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX)

GW scores Fast Track status for its experimental treatment for Dravet syndrome 
Shares of GW Pharmaceuticals are up close to 6% in premarket trading this morning after the company announced that the Food and Drug Administration granted Fast Track designation to its cannabidiol product Epidiolex as a potential treatment for Dravet syndrome. Dravet syndrome is a rare and devastating form of childhood epilepsy that currently lacks a cure. Individuals afflicted with the disorder tend to be resistant to most treatments, showing the need for new therapies. 

What's important to understand is that Fast Track status will allow GW to have more frequent contact with the FDA during the drug's development and potentially allow the drug to reach the market sooner. Per the release, GW plans on initiating a combined mid and late-stage study for Epidiolex in the second half of this year. 

Inovio's reverse split completed
Shares of the DNA vaccinemaker Inovio Pharmaceuticals have reportedly completed their 1 for 4 reverse split and are set to start trading at a higher price this morning. What's key to understand is that stocks tend to be highly volatile following reverse splits and today's action in Inovio probably won't stray from this trend.

Looking ahead, you shouldn't expect Inovio's volatility to subside until after the top line data readout for the company's lead clinical candidate VGX-3100, which is expected within the next two months. As such, investors with a long-term outlook may want to wait until after these data are released before considering a position.  

Investors displeased with Novavax's offering price, shares slump further
Yesterday, Novavax announced a $100 million offering of its common stock that caused shares to drop over 11% for the day. This morning shares are down another 7% in premarket following a release of the details of the offering.

Specifically, the company announced that it priced this underwritten public offer of 25 million shares at $4.00 a share. Some quick back of the envelope math shows that this offering is therefore being executed at a noteworthy 21% discount compared to Wednesday's closing price.

While investors that bought prior to this drop may be unhappy with this offering price, I think the company's promising vaccine pipeline, headlined by its RSV franchise, could be reason to consider taking advantage of this pullback -- or at least investigating the company more closely. After all, the company should now be flush with cash and shouldn't need to raise funds again until one of its clinical candidates has reached the regulatory review stage. 

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4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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