Mid-cap hot streak
Biotech winners, losers in 2Q15
Almost all of the biotech market cap tiers tracked by BioCentury ended the second quarter in the black. The lone exception was companies valued below $200 million, which collectively fell a median 1.2%.
Actelion, which had a choppy first quarter because of Swiss currency issues, surged 21% in 2Q15 to close at CHF136.80.
The company was helped by media reports that it had rejected a buyout offer of CHF160 per share from Shire plc.
Gilead advanced 19%, thanks in part to the stellar earnings it reported at the end of April. Overall HCV sales increased 100% year over year, hitting $4.6 billion in 1Q15 compared with $2.3 billion in 1Q14.
Puma Biotechnology Inc. slipped down a tier after losing half its value in 2Q15. The company started the quarter valued at $7.5 billion, but saw dramatic erosion after reporting at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting that breast cancer patients given its neratinib in the Phase III ExteNET trial had a high incidence of diarrhea.
The $1-$4.9 billion market cap band again set the pace for the sector, adding 7.5% in 2Q15 (see Cover Story).
Alder Biopharmaceuticals Inc. was the big winner with an 84% gain. It was boosted by positive Phase II data and upcoming milestones for migraine candidate ALD403. The human mAb inhibits the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor.
Investors in the April 15 IPO by Aduro Biotech Inc. were quickly rewarded, as the cancer company finished the quarter up 78% - the second best performer in the $1-$4.9 billion tier.
Fluidigm Corp. was the worst performer in the group, shedding 43% in 2Q15. Most of the decline came in early