Friday, August 29, 2014

Best Biotech Companies To Buy For 2014

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The grades of five machinery stocks are on the rise this week on Portfolio Grader. Each of these stocks is rated an “A” (“strong buy”) or “B” overall (“buy”).

This week, Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation () is making solid headway. The company’s rating improves to an A (“strong buy”) from last week’s B (“buy”) rating. Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies is a provider of value-added, technology-based products and services for the global rail industry. In Portfolio Grader’s specific subcategory of Equity, WAB also gets an A. .

Hot Railroad Stocks To Own For 2015: Protalix Biotherapeutics Inc (PLX)

Protalix BioTherapeutics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of recombinant therapeutic proteins based on its ProCellEx protein expression system, ProCellEx. Using its ProCellEx system, the Company is developing a pipeline of biosimilar or generic versions of recombinant therapeutic proteins based on its plant cell-based expression technology, which focuses pharmaceutical markets and that rely upon known biological mechanisms of action. ProCellEx protein expression system consists of a set of technologies and capabilities for the development of recombinant proteins, including advanced genetic engineering technology and plant cell-based protein expression methods. Its ProCellEx protein expression system is built on flexible custom-designed bioreactors made of polyethylene and optimized for the development of complex proteins in plant cell cultures. In June 2010, it had completed the preliminary phase I clinical trial of PRX-105.

Taliglucerase Alfa

Taliglucerase alfa is a plant cell expressed recombinant glucocerebrosidase enzyme (GCD) for the treatment of Gaucher disease. The Company has commenced pre-clinical studies of an oral form of taliglucerase alfa. Its oral taliglucerase alfa is a plant cell expressed form of GCD that is naturally encapsulated within carrot cells genetically engineered to express the GCD enzyme. Pre-clinical studies of oral taliglucerase alfa demonstrate the stability of the enzyme in the cell and the capacity of the cell�� cellulose wall to protect the enzyme against degradation in the digestive tract in an in-vitro model of the stomach and intestines. Additionally, rats fed with lyophilized carrot cells expressing GCD have accumulated the active enzyme in the target organs; the spleen and liver. As of December 31, 2010, the Company had completed Phase III Clinical Trial.


The Company is developing PRX-102, its plant cell expressed modified version of the recombinant ! alpha-GAL-A protein, a therapeutic enzyme for the treatment of Fabry disease. Fabry disease is a rare, hereditary, genetic lysosomal storage disorder in humans caused by an X-lined deficiency of the alpha-GAL-A enzyme. The Company is in the animal evaluation testing phase of the development of PRX-102, which tests are based on a mouse model for Fabry disease.


Protalix Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company is licensed the rights to certain technology under a research and license agreement with Yissum Research and Development Company (Yissum) and the Boyce Thompson Institute, Inc. Pursuant to the agreement, the Company is developing PRX-105, a plant cell-based acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and its molecular variants for the use in several therapeutic and prophylactic indications, as well as in a biodefense program and an organophosphate-based pesticide treatment program.

As of December 31, 2010, its in-vitro experiments of PRX-105 have shown that the acetylcholinesterase enzyme in its ProCellEx protein expression system demonstrates biological activity on biochemical and cellular levels. In addition, early animal studies demonstrated that the acetylcholinesterase expressed in its ProCellEx protein expression system was able to treat animals exposed to the nerve gas agent analogues, both when injected with its acetylcholinesterase product candidate immediately before exposure or when injected after exposure. In March 2010, it initiated a preliminary phase I clinical trial of PRX-105, which the Company completed in June 2010.


pr-antiTNF is a candidate for the treatment of certain autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, ankylosing, spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis. The Company has designed the antiTNF as pr-antiTNF. pr-antiTNF is a plant cell-expressed recombinant fusion protein made from the soluble form of the human TNF receptor (TNFR), f! used to t! he Fc component of a human antibody domain. pr-antiTNF has an identical amino acid sequence to Enbrel and its in-vitro and preclinical animal studies have demonstrated that pr-antiTNF exhibits similar activity to Enbrel. Specifically, pr-antiTNF binds TNF thereby inhibiting it from binding to cellular surface TNF receptors and protects L929 cells from TNF-induced apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner.

The Company competes with Genzyme, Actelion, Crucell N.V., Biolex, Inc., Chlorogen, Inc., Greenovation Biotech GmbH, Symbiosys, Novartis AG/Sandoz Pharmaceuticals, BioGeneriX AG, Stada Arzneimittel AG, BioPartners GmbH and Teva.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Keith Speights]

    Other investors might wish that Pfizer would use some of its cash to acquire a few smaller companies. Protalix BioTherapeutics (NYSEMKT: PLX  ) has been mentioned as one possible candidate. The two companies already partner together on Gaucher disease drug Elelyso. In February, Protalix spurred rumors that Pfizer could be interested in buying the company after it announced that it had engaged Citigroup to pursue a "broad array of strategic alternatives."

  • [By Maxx Chatsko]

    Industrial biotech isn't the only industry headed to Brazil. Protalix (NYSEMKT: PLX  ) entered into a technology transfer agreement with Brazil's Ministry of Health last week that will pay the company $280 million. The deal is big news for Protalix's first product, Elelyso/Uplyso, which was developed with partner Pfizer (NYSE: PFE  ) . The treatment is approved as an enzyme replacement therapy, or ERT, for adults with type 1 Gaucher disease, and it marks a huge step forward for the future of biomanufacturing. In the following video, Fool contributor Maxx Chatsko explains what this means for the product's commercialization and the adoption of Protalix's novel plant cell-based expression system for therapeutic proteins.

Best Biotech Companies To Buy For 2014: Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc (AGIO)

Agios Pharmaceuticals, Inc., incorporated on August 7, 2007, is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is intend to apply its deep understanding of metabolism, coupled with the Company�� ability to create medicines that can inhibit or activate metabolic enzymes, to fundamentally change the way cancer and inborn errors of metabolism (IEMs) are treated. The Company has identified and validated novel and druggable targets in both cancer and IEMs. The Company�� two advanced cancer programs are targeting mutations in the enzymes isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 and 2, referred to as IDH1 and IDH2. The Company�� drug candidates are selective for the mutated forms of IDH1 and IDH2 found in cancer cells versus the normal forms of IDH1 and IDH2 found in all other cells.

The Company focused on developing medicines to address IEMs, with a novel approach to these orphan diseases for which no effective or disease-modifying therapy is available. The Company has also de-validated and terminated numerous programs, including many that have been reported in scientific journals. In the Company�� IEM portfolio, it uses an equally rigorous set of validation techniques.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Jake L'Ecuyer]

    Shares of Agios Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AGIO) got a boost, shooting up 29.08 percent to $40.84 after the company reported quarterly results.

    Stage Stores (NYSE: SSI) was also up, gaining 13.47 percent to $22.41 after the company reported Q4 results and announced the sale of its Steele's off-price division to a new retail unit of Hilco Global.

  • [By Jake L'Ecuyer]

    Equities Trading UP
    Sangamo Biosciences (NASDAQ: SGMO) shot up 16.32 percent to $22.81 announced the publication in the NEJM of the first-in-man study of genome editing using its ZFN technology. Shares of Agios Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AGIO) got a boost, shooting up 27.72 percent to $40.41 after the company reported quarterly results. BJ's (NASDAQ: BJRI) was also up, gaining 21.04 percent to $33.48 after the company was upgraded toa Buy rating at Buckingham research.

Best Biotech Companies To Buy For 2014: IsoRay Inc (ISR)

IsoRay, Inc. (IsoRay), incorporated on June 15, 2004, develops, manufactures and sells isotope-based medical products and devices for the treatment of cancer and other malignant diseases. IsoRay International LLC (International) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company. IsoRay obtained clearance from the Food and Drug Association (FDA) for treatment for all solid tumor applications using Cesium-131. Such applications include prostate cancer; ocular melanoma; head, neck and lung tumors; breast cancer; liver cancer; brain cancer; colorectal cancer; gynecological cancer; esophageal cancer, and pancreatic cancer. The seed may be used in surface, interstitial and intracavity applications for tumors with known radio sensitivity. The Company has an existing distribution agreement with UralDial LLC (UralDial) that allows UralDial to distribute Proxcelan Cs-131 brachytherapy seeds in Russia. The Company, through UralDial, has regulatory approval to sell Cs-131 seeds in Russia.

IsoRay markets the Proxcelan Cesium-131 brachytherapy seed for the treatment of prostate cancer; lung cancer; ocular melanoma; head and neck cancers; colorectal cancer, brain cancer; and gynecological cancer. The Company focuses to market Cesium-131 for the treatment of other malignant disease, such as breast cancer, in the near future through the use of existing technologies that have received FDA-clearance. Cesium-131 is a radioactive isotope that can be produced by the neutron bombardment of Barium-130 (Ba-130). When placed into a nuclear reactor and exposed to a flux of neutrons, Ba-130 becomes Ba-131, the radioactive material that is the parent isotope of Cesium-131. The radioactive isotope Cesium-131 is normally produced by placing a quantity of stable non-radioactive barium (ideally barium enriched in isotope Ba-130) into the neutron flux of a nuclear reactor. The irradiation process converts a small fraction of this material into a radioactive form of barium (Ba-131). The Ba-131 decays by electron capture to the ! radioactive isotope of interest (Cesium-131).

As of June 30, 2011, IsoRay had agreements with several independent radiopharmacies to assay, preload, and sterilize loose seeds. During the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011, the Company loaded approximately 90% of Mick cartridges in the Company's own facility, which accounted for approximately 61% of seeds sold. Approximately 33% of seeds sold are strand configurations, including strands preloaded in needles and the remaining 6% of seeds are sold as loose seeds.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By James E. Brumley]

    I hate to be the one to say I told you so, but, I told you so. Back on February 26th I suggested IsoRay, Inc. (NYSEMKT:ISR) shares were a budding breakout play. The 48% rally that's played out for ISR in the meantime unfurled right on cue. While overbought in the very short run, this small cap stock looks like it's earning the right to be compared to the likes of bigger brothers in the cancer-treatment space... names like Roche Holding Ltd. (OTCMKTS:RHHBY) or Theragenics Corporation (NYSE:TGX).

  • [By Vanina Egea]

    Strengthening portfolio and business stability is to be reinforced by the introduction of new products. Last December, Textron announced the successful first flight of the Scorpion Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)/Strike aircraft. ��he Scorpion compares very favorably to more costly aircraft currently used for low-threat missions,��pilot Dan Hinson said. The new product is expected to accommodate the budget constraints and shifting mission requirements of the US Department of Defense. The same department has granted the firm an additional contract worth $22.5 million to "deprocess" Mobile Strike Force vehicles and train the Afghan Army.

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    Ugh. It's fun to be right about a stock, but it's exhausting to be too right, too fast. Case in Point? IsoRay, Inc. (NYSE: ISR). Yours truly posted some bullish comments on ISR just a couple of days ago, explaining how that day's move above a key ceiling meant a new bull trend was underway, and more gains from that price would be far easier to muster. Well, good news for those who heeded the advice - IsoRay shares are up 44% today.

Best Biotech Companies To Buy For 2014: Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc (CNAT)

Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc., incorporated on July 13, 2005, is a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of medicines to treat liver disease. The Company is developing its lead compound, emricasan, for the treatment of patients in orphan populations with chronic liver disease and acute exacerbations of chronic liver disease. The Company has designed a clinical program to demonstrate the therapeutic benefit of emricasan across the spectrum of fibrotic liver disease. The Company�� initial development strategy targets indications for emricasan with high unmet clinical need in orphan patient populations, such as patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF), chronic liver failure (CLF), and patients who have developed liver fibrosis post-orthotopic liver transplant due to Hepatitis C virus infection (HCV-POLT).

The Company has completed two placebo-controlled Phase II trials in patients with liver disease showing reductions in ALT levels that occur rapidly, within as little as one day after initiation of therapy, and are maintained throughout the treatment period. In the Company�� 204-patient Phase 2b trial, it also measured cCK18, an important biomarker of apoptosis and disease severity. Emricasan has been generally well-tolerated in all of the clinical studies. As of July 23, 2013, the Company had not generated any revenue.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Lauren Pollock]

    Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s(CNAT) shares jumped 26% to $7.75 premarket after the biotechnology firm said its treatment for chronic liver disease has been granted a status that could mean quicker approval.

  • [By John Udovich]

    While Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: ICPT) surged earlier this year and Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc (NASDAQ: ACHN) has surged this week after Merck & Co. Inc (NYSE: MRK) agreed to purchase hepatitis stock�Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: IDIX) at a 239% premium, it seems the herd has realized that small cap Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: CNAT) is also a liver disease stock as shares suddenly surged 56.69% on no apparent company news. But just what is�Conatus Pharmaceuticals and is it worth taking a chance on?

Best Biotech Companies To Buy For 2014: Prima BioMed Ltd (PBMD)

Prima BioMed Ltd is a biotechnology company is engaged in the development and commercialization of medical therapies with a focus on oncology. Its product candidates in development include Cvac, an autologous dendritic cell vaccine for ovarian cancer, monoclonal antibodies for multiple tumour types, and an oral formulation for the human papilloma virus (HPV), vaccine. Its product candidate Cvac is a dendritic cell therapy, for which it is conducting a Phase IIb trial for the treatment of ovarian cancer. Cvac is designed to target the tumour antigen mucin-1, which is expressed at high levels on different tumour types. It also has two preclinical product development programs. In May 2011, Prima BioMed GmbH, a 100 % owned subsidiary of Prima BioMed Ltd, was incorporated in Germany. In May 2011, Prima BioMed Middle East FZLLC, a 100 % owned subsidiary of Prima BioMed Ltd, was incorporated in the United Arab Emirates. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Prima Biomed (NASDAQ: PBMD) dropped 38.17% to $1.45 after the company reported top-line analysis of CVac Phase 2 trial.

    Tower Group International (NASDAQ: TWGP) plummeted 24.31% to $10.49. Tower Group announced its plans to release its Q2 results during the week of October 7, 2013. FBR Capital downgraded the stock from Outperform to Market Perform.

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