Biotech stocks can be a lot like lottery tickets: They're worth either a whole lot or almost nothing. It's the appeal of the grand slam, the allure of striking it rich overnight, that makes them such attractive stocks.
Investors in Dendreon
But in the past few weeks, shares have cratered, losing some 75% of their value. It seems that sales of the $93,000 Provenge have not been as brisk as imagined, because doctors had to shell out the cost of the treatment and then bill the insurance companies and hope for reimbursement. Despite this issue, management has assured investors that there's still plenty of demand for the drug.
Even with a marketable drug, the biotech has run into trouble -- highlighting how fraught with risk the biotech space is, but also how rewarding it can be when things go right. So with that as preamble, following are six more wild bets on biotech riches.
2. Aeterna Zentaris
4. Cell Therapeutics
5. Ariad Pharmaceuticals
Foolish bottom line
Will these biotech stocks rocket to the moon or crash and burn? So much of the time it's feast or famine with biotech; if you can handicap the stocks and make a profit, then all the better for you. For those who are still interested in a stock with substantial upside without the risk of biotech stocks, download a copy of our special free report, The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2011.
Jim Royal, Ph.D., owns no shares in any company mentioned here. The Motley Fool owns shares of Dendreon. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.