What happened

Biotech and biopharma stocks regained their footing last Friday after a historically brutal week. For instance, shares of AnaptysBio (ANAB 2.33%) closed up by 12.5% last Friday; bluebird bio (BLUE 5.93%) stock posted a modest 2.17% gain after dipping by as much as 13.1% during Friday's hectic session; and Exelixis (EXEL 3.96%) shares won a hard-fought 9.97% gain during the day's session, again after falling behind (down 5%) in early morning trading. 

So what

The biopharmaceutical space as a whole proved to be one of the day's strongest areas of the entire market. Part of the reason is that investors seemed to realize their prior mistake of panic-selling shares of companies that probably won't be heavily impacted by the COVID-19 illness. The reality of the situation is that patients aren't going to forgo life-saving medicines during a global pandemic, and clinical trials for important new medicines won't come to a standstill, either.

Money sign made up of pills.

Image Source: Getty Images.

Adding fuel to the fire, President Trump also declared a national emergency on Friday morning, and several members of Congress announced that an economic stimulus package should be coming down the pike soon. These two governmental actions clearly lit a fire underneath stocks in general, but they appeared to help beaten-down biopharma stocks like Anaptys, bluebird bio, and Exelixis in particular. Prior to Friday's rebound, after all, these three drugmakers were all down by double digits for the week.  

Now what

Are Anaptys, bluebird bio, and Exelixis worth buying on this recent weakness? Anaptys is gearing up to release midstage data for its chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps drug, etokimab, later this year. If the results are positive, this clinical-stage biotech stock should turn out to be a big winner for early bird investors. 

Bluebird bio is in the midst of launching its blood disorder treatment Zynteglo and prepping for more regulatory filings in the coming months. Unfortunately, the company is facing several competitive threats right now, which make it next to impossible to quantify its long-term value proposition. Risk-averse investors, in turn, might want to think twice before buying this midcap biotech stock.

Lastly, Exelixis might be the best value buy of this trio. The company's flagship cancer medicine Cabometyx is barreling toward a string of key clinical readouts, all of which could significantly boost its sales in the years ahead. So, if you're bargain hunting in this volatile market, Exelixis should definitely be on your radar right now.