It's Black Friday -- time to go shopping for biotech bargains, drugmakers that have been kicked to the curb but have the potential to get back up for another fight.
I used the CAPS screener to look for drug stocks with market caps between $100 million and $5 billion that are trading at least 20% below their 52-week highs. I also used the community intelligence and eliminated the one- and two-star stocks to make the list more manageable.
You can see the full list here, but I'd like to highlight a few that I think have the best shot at turning a bargain today into high-flying presents in the future.
Wall of worry
And then investors started worrying about the possibility of another generic drug getting approved. A lot. Shares fell 50%.
Four months later, we still haven't seen one. At some point, Teva Pharmaceuticals
You want what? Now?
Bydueron is a once weekly version of Amylin and Eli Lilly's
An approval on the second try seemed like a sure thing, thus the huge drops when it didn't come through. Unfortunately, the FDA decided it wanted to be a little more cautious and ordered Amylin and Eli Lilly to run a trial to ensure there weren't any heart side effects. Given the history of GlaxoSmithKline's Avandia, maybe it shouldn't have come as a big surprise, but it certainly would have been nice if the agency had brought up the idea when it first rejected Bydureon back in March.
At this point, there's no reason to think Bydureon has heart issues, but investors need to be patient while Amylin and Lilly figure out the best way to satisfy the FDA.
No partner? No problem.
Bristol-Myers handed back the right to cancer compound XL 184. The act certainly looked like a bad omen for Exelixis; if Bristol-Myers doesn't have confidence in the drug, how can investors?
But the drug seems to work just fine. Data released last week hint that the drug might work for both prostate and ovarian cancer. Given Exelixis' small size, one disease would be good enough. Two cancer types could put XL 184 into blockbuster status fairly quickly.
Exelixis will need to run phase 3 trials to prove the early results -- and likely find a partner to pay for it. But the fear that Bristol-Myers was walking away from XL 184 because it knew something negative about the drug seems to be overblown.
Bargains a plenty
Given the binary nature of drug development, there's always plenty of drugmakers that have been knocked down. Not all are bargains. Some are legitimately knocked down because their lead drug isn't worth what investors thought it was.
Here's the full list again. See any other companies on the list that pique your interest? Let us know in the comment box below.
Exelixis and Momenta Pharmaceuticals are Motley Fool Rule Breakers picks. GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis are Motley Fool Global Gains recommendations. The Fool owns shares of and has written covered calls on GlaxoSmithKline. The Fool owns shares of Exelixis and Teva Pharmaceutical. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.
Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., loves a good deal, but not one that requires waking up before sunrise. He doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. The Fool's disclosure policy solves the waking-up issue by not sleeping on Thanksgiving Day.