Looking for stocks that are beating the market in 2022? Our roundtable has three healthcare names that are killing it right now: Shockwave Medical (SWAV -1.22%), Axsome Therapeutics (AXSM -1.67%), and Rhythm Pharmaceuticals (RYTM 0.34%). Read more to find out why our Foolish trio likes these three companies.
Better outcomes are driving explosive growth for Shockwave
Patrick Bafuma (Shockwave Medical): Shockwave Medical isn't beating the market this year, it's crushing it. Up nearly 60% year to date, this medical device company is transforming the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Using sound waves to break calcium buildup, thereby expanding blood vessel size, its innovative solution restores blood flow to the affected area. And so far, both investors and the medical community seem to be rejoicing.
The calcium cracking company grew sales 30% sequentially in the second quarter to the tune of $120.7 million and even raised guidance. The company now projects revenue for 2022 to range from $465 million to $475 million, its second raise this year. That is more than 13% from the midpoint of guidance at the end of Q4 2021 when the company was guiding for $405 million to $425 million for the year. With the company cruising past its expectations, it is no wonder its share price is soaring.
And share prices are increasing for good reason -- its technology appears to work quite well. For clogged arteries in the legs using its Shockwave M product line, hospital sites report 90% procedural success compared to 64% with previous methods. Importantly for patients, the intervention is long-lasting: 74.4% of patients having patent vessels at two years post-procedure versus 57.7% with usual care. And while long-term data in patients with calcium-clogged cardiac arteries isn't quite mature enough yet, short-term data is promising. With 92.2% of patients free of major adverse cardiac events at 30 days in a difficult-to-treat patient population and similarly high levels of procedural success, the Shockwave C2 device edges out current standards of care on both fronts.
Not only that, but the device's ease of use is likely playing a role in its rapid adoption for cardiac cases. Even when analyzing just the first case enrolled at each study site for the Shockwave C2, freedom from 30-day adverse events remained high at 89.4% versus 92.2% and procedural success was 87.2% for the first-time enrollees versus 92.4% thereafter. There's plenty of room for growth too, as the healthcare company believes its addressable markets are north of $8.5 billion. With an easy-to-use product and excellent outcomes, investors may want to get used to Shockwave blowing past expectations.
Axsome's stock is up 190% over the last year
Taylor Carmichael (Axsome Therapeutics): While Axsome investors expected the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve Auvelity this year, it was still a happy day when it happened. This is the first new oral medication for major depressive disorder to hit the market in 60 years. Prior to COVID-19, 20 million Americans were diagnosed with major depression. These numbers shot dramatically higher during the lockdown, with over 80 million Americans experiencing an increase in depression levels.
The company plans to launch Auvelity in Q4. In 2020, major depression was a $4 billion market in seven markets around the world (U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Japan, Italy and Spain), so the opportunity is sizable. Right now, Axsome's market cap is just $2.8 billion, so there's still significant upside to be had.
Axsome also might have made a steal when it acquired Sunosi (solriamfetol), a drug for excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), from Jazz Pharmaceuticals for $53 million earlier this year. While the EDS market is tiny (hence the small acquisition price), Axsome has additional plans for the molecule. The biotech believes solriamfetol might be approved for a second indication: ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). That's a huge market opportunity, estimated to grow to approximately $25 billion by 2025. Axsome is planning a phase 3 trial for solriamfetol later this year to test whether the drug will indeed work on patients with ADHD.
Axsome's stock has skyrocketed over the last year, for good reason. The company now has two drugs on the market (plus a migraine drug candidate waiting in the wings). If Axsome can make the transition from an unprofitable biotech to a highly profitable drug company, this stock will really take off.
A pipeline in a drug
George Budwell (Rhythm Pharmaceuticals): While most early commercial-stage biotech stocks have struggled in 2022, shares of the rare-disease specialist Rhythm Pharmaceuticals has been gapping up at breakneck pace this year. Over past three months, Rhythm's stock price has steamed higher to the tune of 632%. For the year, the drugmaker's stock price is up by a noteworthy 138.7% at the time of this writing.
What's all the fuss about? On June 16, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted a key label expansion to the company's melanocortin-4 receptor agonist, Imcivree (setmelanotide), as a treatment for chronic weight management in patients with a rare inherited disorder known as Bardet-Biedl syndrome.
The company has since reported that Imcivree's commercial launch in this setting is off to a blistering start, with over 35 doctors prescibing the drug for Bardet-Biedl syndrome as of July 28, 2022. The big picture is that this indication could push Imcivree's global sales into the $3 billion stratosphere by the end of the decade, which is a tantalizing commercial opportunity for a company with a current market cap of $1.2 billion.
Nonetheless, Rhythm has even bigger plans for its flagship medication. The rare disease specialist is moving forward with plans to trial the drug in several additional high-value indications, such as hypothalamic obesity. As a result, Imcivree has an outside chance at hitting mega-blockbuster sales territory by 2030 (over $5 billion in annual sales). Rhythm's forward momentum, in turn, is highly unlikely to fade any time soon. In fact, this biotech growth stock could double in value yet again before the end of the year.