UPDATE : Monday, August 10, 2020
Roche, MSD, AstraZeneca: top 3 risers on NASDAQ biotech
  • By Kim Yun-mi
  • Published 2019.08.06 11:29
  • Updated 2019.08.06 11:29
  • comments 0

Roche, MSD (Merck in the U.S.), and AstraZeneca achieved the most significant growth in stock prices among large biotech and pharmaceutical firms listed on NASDAQ in the first half of this year, a report showed.

EvaluatePharma, a global pharmaceutical market research firm, evaluated the U.S. pharmaceutical and biotech market in a report, titled, “Vantage Pharma, Biotech & Medtech Half-Year Review 2019.”

Source: Vantage Pharma, Biotech & Medtech Half-Year Review 2019

Despite headwinds in the pharmaceutical sector in the first six months of the year, Roche, MSD, and AstraZeneca yielded the most robust share price growths among big pharmaceutical companies, the report said.

In spite of the threat of biosimilars, Roche’s breast cancer treatment Herceptin (ingredient: trastuzumab), multiple sclerosis drug Ocrevus (ocrelizumab), and Hemophilia treatment Hemlibra (emicizumab) performed well enough to attract investors. The company’s stock prices rose 13 percent in the first six months, boosting the market capitalization to reach $234.8 billion.

MSD pulled off a 10 percent stock price rise on the back of the substantial sales growth of Keytruda (pembrolizumab), immunotherapy. Its market cap amounted to $215.9 billion as of the end of June.

AstraZeneca’s stock price went up 11 percent with strong annual earnings in 2018 and sustainable growth. It marked $108.3 billion in market cap.

In contrast, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and AbbVie were among “top three fallers” in stock prices because M&As in the first half weighed on their stocks, EvaluatePharma said.

BMS acquired Celgene for $74 billion, and AbbVie took over Allergan for $63 billion, respectively, in the first half.

AbbVie’s stock prices plunged 21 percent in the past six months, with the market cap falling to $107.5 billion. BMS’ shares declined 13 percent, and the market cap stood at $74.2 billion.

Lilly was also in the bottom league in the first half.

Lilly used to boast record highs in share prices in the first quarter but failed to meet investor expectations in critical trials for Trulicity (dulaglutide) and Talz (ixekizumab), EvaluatePharma said.

“But a lot of the fall can be blamed on the company lowering full-year revenue forecasts following weaker-than-expected growth for key products,” it said. Lilly’s shares decreased 4 percent in the past six months, with market cap hitting $107.6 billion.

However, Celgene and Allergan which were bought out by BMS and AbbVie, respectively, enjoyed solid stock price growths.

Celgene’s shares surged 44 percent in the first half, pumping up its market cap by $20.1 billion to reach $65.2 billion. Allergan’s stock price also went up 25 percent, and its market cap rose by $15.4 billion to $43.5 billion.

Except for big pharmaceuticals, EvaluatePharma picked Celltrion among the big three losers.

“Celltrion’s decision to halt production at its main Factory No.1 to carry out work to increase production capacity has weighed on that company's shares, as have price cuts for its biosimilars Truxima (rituximab) and Herzuma (trastuzumab), sold through Celltrion Healthcare,” the market research firm said.

Celltrion suffered a 9 percent decline in stock prices and marked $23.1 billion in market cap in the first half.


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