Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

3 Biotech Stocks Wall Street Expects to Double Soon

By Cory Renauer – Updated Sep 7, 2021 at 9:48AM

Key Points

  • Analysts on Wall Street think a company developing psychedelic drugs to treat depression can recover recent losses and more.
  • Despite potential trouble from the FDA, expectations are still high for a biotech combining well-known drugs to treat depression.
  • Wall Street projections for a company that launched a new epilepsy treatment are sky-high, too.

Motley Fool Issues Rare “All In” Buy Alert

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

All three stocks on this list can more than double your money according to investment bank analysts who cover them.

If you're looking for stocks that can make big moves in a small amount of time, the biotech industry has plenty to choose from. Clinical trial readouts, Food and Drug Administration decisions, and new-drug launch trajectories can cause small-cap biotech stocks to shoot higher, or collapse, overnight. 

All three of these companies are working on new drugs that could be worth a mint, according to Wall Street. Read on to see why their stock prices don't match up with analyst expectations. 

Scientist looking up at a well plate.

Image source: Getty Images.

Compass Pathways

Compass Pathways' (CMPS -4.10%) first year as a publicly traded company was a great one for its shareholders. Unfortunately, this biotech stock has fallen 30% so far this year.

Wall Street analysts think Compass Pathways can bounce back and then some. The consensus price target on this stock represents a 117% premium over its recent price.

Compass is still a leader in the psychedelic neuroscience revolution, and it stands to benefit from increasingly flexible regulators. The company hasn't given investors a good reason to retreat, so they're right to wonder if it's a bargain now.

Despite the stock's slide this year, its recent market cap of around $1.4 billion says there's still a lot of enthusiasm for Compass Pathways' psychedelic-based depression treatments. The company's lead candidate, COMP360, an experimental psilocybin-based therapy, is in a phase 2 trial with treatment-resistant depression patients.

Investigators have finished treating more than 200 patients with three different dosages of COMP360. This puts the company on track to read out topline results before the end of 2021.

If patients who receive COMP360 exhibit evidence of a strong benefit, the stock could blow right past price targets. An estimated 19 million adults in the U.S. experience debilitating bouts of depression annually. Nearly two-thirds of this population isn't adequately served by their first line of treatment with today's available drugs.

Scientist working under a fume hood.

Image source: Getty Images.

Axsome Therapeutics

Axsome Therapeutics (AXSM 1.07%) is another clinical-stage drugmaker developing a new depression therapy. This company's lead candidate, AXS-05, combines two well-known drugs that interact to produce benefits that are stronger than the sum of their parts.

Shares of the stock plummeted in August after the FDA delayed an expected approval. Clearly, the average analyst on Wall Street thinks the setback is a minor one. The consensus price target of $92 per share is around 243% higher than its price at the moment.

Axsome's market cap has drifted down to just $1 billion at recent prices. Bupropion, one of AXS-05's main ingredients, is one of America's most prescribed drugs, with more than 20 million scripts annually. Serving a portion of the generic bupropion population with its more effective version could quickly lead to several billion dollars in annual sales.

The company says the FDA has been tight-lipped about its reasons for delaying the approval of AXS-05. The application is supported by solid data, but we still can't say if or when it can reach pharmacy shelves.

Before taking a chance on this stock, investors should know that management teams can misrepresent private FDA communications with impunity. Some even withhold from their shareholders the fact that they've received a complete response letter

Two scientists in a laboratory.

Image source: Getty Images.


Shares of Zogenix (ZGNX) have retreated around 40% from a peak last September. Despite recent weakness, the average target on Wall Street is still about 190% above its latest closing price.

This company's recent market cap of around $828 million is lower than its peers on this list. This is a little surprising because it's the only company here with a dependable revenue stream. 

The FDA approved Zogenix's first drug, Fintepla to treat a rare form of epilepsy last June. In the second quarter this year, sales of the drug reach an annualized $70 million.

Fintepla's addressable patient population is currently limited to those with Dravet syndrome, but this could change soon. The company's on track to submit an application to the FDA meant to expand Fintepla's approval to include children born with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. In other words, an already successful drug launch could accelerate next year.

Cory Renauer owns shares of Axsome Therapeutics. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Compass Pathways plc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Zogenix Stock Quote
Axsome Therapeutics Stock Quote
Axsome Therapeutics
$56.82 (1.07%) $0.60
COMPASS Pathways plc Stock Quote
COMPASS Pathways plc
$10.05 (-4.10%) $0.43

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 11/27/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.