Drawn and quartered
Biotech winners, losers in 3Q15
There was no joy to be had in 3Q15, as every biotech market cap band fell by at least 15%. After the carnage only one group - companies valued north of $5 billion - are in the black for the year.
The big caps are clinging to a 0.2% gain through the first nine months of the year despite shedding 15.1% in the third quarter (see "Results by Market Cap," page 15).
Biotechs in the top band that posted gains included Incyte Corp. and Genmab A/S. Incyte finished the quarter with consecutive days of good news. On Sept. 29, the company and partner Eli Lilly and Co. said baricitinib met the primary endpoint in a Phase III trial to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Additional Phase III trials of the oral Janus kinase-1 (JAK-1) and JAK-2 inhibitor are expected to read out this quarter.
On Sept. 30, Incyte said it will join the NASDAQ-100 Index, effective Oct. 7.
All told, Incyte finished 3Q15 with a 6% gain. For the year, the company is up 51% and is the best-performing biotech stock in the top market tier.
Genmab posted a 5% gain in 3Q15, thanks largely to news in August that results from a Phase I/II trial of its daratumumab (HuMax-CD38) for multiple myeloma (MM) were published in theNew England Journal of Medicine.
The antibody against CD38 is partnered with Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Research & Development LLC unit and under FDA review for MM with a March 9 PDUFA date.
The worst performer in the top