Axsome Therapeutics (AXSM 2.33%) has done something most other stocks haven't been able to do this year: It's beaten the bear market. The shares are heading for a 111% gain as the S&P 500 heads for a 16% loss.

Axsome's performance isn't random -- there's a clear reason for it. This dynamic biotech company commercialized its first two products and is moving closer to possibly launching others in the next few years.

All of that sounds great. But you might be wondering if there's any share-performance potential left. After such gains, is Axsome still worth buying before 2023? Let's find out.

A standout year

First, a bit about Axsome's standout year. The company acquired its first product from Jazz Pharmaceuticals this spring -- sleep-disorder drug Sunosi. At Jazz, Sunosi sales soared 104% last year to $57.9 million.

This year, things continue to look bright for the product. It delivered $16.8 million in sales during its first full quarter at Axsome, and prescriptions rose 15%. If Sunosi continues at this pace, annual sales of the drug could climb in the double digits, compared to last year.

Axsome then launched antidepressant Auvelity this fall. This is a crowded market, but Auvelity offers something that should help it stand out -- the drug is fast acting. It's demonstrated significant improvement of symptoms after just one week of treatment. Another plus is Auvelity hasn't been linked to weight gain -- a common side effect of antidepressents.

How big can Auvelity become? It's got blockbuster potential. The drug should reach $1.3 billion in sales by 2029, according to GlobalData.

Investors this year clearly appreciated Axsome's product launches and piled into the stock. But there's even more to come for Axsome. First, we'll start to see the revenue potential of Sunosi and Auvelity in the next few earnings reports. Any signs of strength could further lift Axsome shares.

The story doesn't stop here

Second, Axsome's product story doesn't stop here. The company plans on submitting its migraine candidate to regulators in the third quarter of next year.

This is after an initial setback. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) turned down Axsome's initial submission due to chemistry, manufacturing, and controls issues. These sorts of problems are easier to address than an efficacy issue. So there's reason to be optimistic about the migraine candidate's next regulatory review.

Axsome also recently said its candidate for Alzheimer's disease agitation met its primary endpoint in a phase 3 trial. This could be big because there aren't any treatments currently approved for this indication, so doctors may flock to this product for their patients.

The FDA already granted this candidate Breakthrough Therapy status, which will speed up the review process. We could be looking at yet another product launch in the next couple of years.

Finally, it's important to note that all of Axsome's pipeline candidates are in phase 2 development or further along. Of course, failure can happen at any stage of development, but Axsome has passed certain hurdles. If all goes well for the company's candidates, multiple products could launch this decade.

Is Axsome a buy?

Let's get back to the idea of buying the shares. Is Axsome a buy before 2023? Yes. It's still reasonably priced, considering the company's new products, late-stage pipeline, and long-term revenue potential. Moving forward, the stock may not climb as quickly as it did in recent weeks. Wall Street's average price target calls for a 30% increase in the coming 12 months.

Even if the pace of gains slows down, that's OK. The past increase -- and future increases -- may be lasting, thanks to current revenue drivers and exciting prospects just ahead. That's why Axsome is a stock to buy now and hold for the long term.