This year has been one of losses for many top stocks. Higher inflation and a generally pessimistic market sentiment have weighed on market performance across industries. But some companies have managed to defy this negative trend -- and beat the bear market.

Two biotech companies are great examples of this: giant Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX 0.71%) and up-and-coming player Axsome Therapeutics (AXSM 3.30%). Both stocks soared in the double digits this year. And this movement isn't over.

1. Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Vertex shares have climbed about 40% so far this year. And there's a a compelling argument to be made that this movement should continue. Vertex may be about to show that it can expand beyond its specialty of cystic fibrosis (CF) treatment -- and with a potential blockbuster product.

Vertex and partner CRISPR Therapeutics are submitting their candidate for blood disorders right now to regulators in the U.S., the U.K., and Europe. Treatment options are limited for beta-thalassemia and sickle cell disease. And Vertex's candidate is designed as a one-time curative treatment. So patients and doctors could be quick to sign on.

Regulatory decisions could come as soon as next year. And positive news could send Vertex shares higher.

It's also important to remember Vertex's CF portfolio continues to bring in billion-dollar revenue and profit. In the most recent quarter, product revenue totaled $2.33 billion. That's an 18% increase from the same period last year.

CF revenue should continue growing for quite some time as well. For example, star product Trikafta hasn't reached its full audience yet, but it is making steady progress as countries approve reimbursements and the product gains approval in younger patient groups.

Vertex also is studying a CF candidate in phase 3 that may even top Trikafta. Vertex expects to remain the leader in CF through at least the late 2030s.

Vertex trades at 24 times trailing-12-month earnings. That's compared to levels higher than 180 about four years ago. At the same time, revenue has climbed significantly.

VRTX PE Ratio Chart

Data by YCharts.

Potential new products could push today's revenue much higher, making Vertex's earnings growth and share performance over time look unstoppable.

2. Axsome Therapeutics

Axsome shares have soared nearly 100% so far this year -- amid a lot of good news. But there may be more to come. Let's look at why investors are so excited about Axsome.

The company launched its first two products this year. Axsome bought sleep disorders drug Sunosi from Jazz Pharmaceuticals and started selling it late this spring. In the third quarter, Sunosi brought in more than $16 million in U.S. net sales. That was its first full quarter at Axsome. And prescriptions climbed 15%.

The company then won approval for antidepressant Auvelity. The area may be crowded, but Auvelity could still stand out. It's a fast-acting product that results in significant improvement in symptoms in just one week. Auvelity also wasn't linked to weight gain -- a common side effect of antidepressants. Auvelity could reach $1.3 billion in sales by 2029, according to GlobalData.

There's a lot going on in Axsome's pipeline, too. Importantly, all candidates are in phase 2 development or farther along. This suggests, if all goes well, Axsome could launch more products in the next few years.

In recent days, Axsome shares extended gains after the company reported positive data from a phase 3 trial of a candidate for Alzheimer's disease agitation. Currently, there aren't any treatments approved for this indication. If approved, this could be a major product for Axsome.

The company also plans on submitting its candidate for migraine to U.S. regulators in the third quarter of next year.

Axsome shares have climbed a lot this year. But the company hasn't even come close to its earnings potential yet. Over time, Axsome has what it takes to become a multi-product company, sell at least one blockbuster drug, and see its revenue grow.

All of this could make Axsome's shares unstoppable. And that's why there's still time to get in on this exciting growth stock.