Biotechnology Sector and Three Cancer Stock to look for
The biotechnology sector has been rising steadily since 2016 after the capital flight in mid-July of the previous year. The S&P 500 Biotechnology Index (INDEXSP: SPSIBI) has shown a significant gain in the sector from Feb 2016 at $3658.98 up by +$2107.61(+57%) increase to today’s $5766.59 since then. This has shown that the sector is regaining some strength and is likely to continue this trend despite changing monetary policy issued by the FED.
Monday’s change in the index was $5766.59 up by a staggering $202(+3.6%) increase. Therefore even in the short term the index is performing well. Within this group there are key performers that are working on cancer drugs from a new perspective that may deliver promising new treatment.
The way cancer treatment is being done is starting to shift from the treatment or cure of the illness to an approach that allows the body to better fight back against the disease. Cancer can easily go undetected; this is because cancer cells produce enzymes that affect the body’s ability to detect the disease. In the early stages of the illness Cancer going undetected by the body’s immune system can be detrimental later on. Usually cancer treatment drugs would treat some symptom caused by the cancer or directly attack and try to destroy the cells at the source. However cancer treatment is being revolutionized by research that can allow drugs to target detection inhibiting enzymes celled “IDO ”. The drug (IDO inhibitors) would allow the immune system to target the cancer cells and destroy them.
The best company in this space is Incyte (NASDAQ:INCY) which was up +3.58% after the close of the Monday session. The company has risen however by 750% since 2011 and is still a hold as it has far more to gain in its stock price. The company released data on its IDO inhibitor drug called Epacadostat and along with data released by other large players in the industry proves to be promising.
“It looks really good. I think this was a coming-out party for IDO inhibitors,” says Tanguy Seiwert, a cancer-therapy researcher and medical doctor who teaches at the University of Chicago. He further went on to elaborate about the safety of the drugs. “You can add it to a ton of things because the cost is low, in terms of toxicity.”
Another Treatment Method
The other big treatment tactic is being pursued by Kite Pharms Inc. (NASDAQ:KITE). A study was done with a patient who had their bodies riddled with tumors, after a month of treatment the tumors disappeared and the patient showed no sign of disease a year later. The treatment is called CAR-T and is very promising.
The long and short of this treatment is essentially the same but instead of being a drug it is a whole process. Blood is extracted from the patient and white blood cells are genetically modified to become able to detect cancer cells even better. These white blood cells are replicated through processing then they are put back into the body. The results speak for themselves and though it is under more testing it is promising.
Another competitor in the CAR-T space is Bluebird bio (NASDAQ:BLUE) which closed up at (+3.59%) on Monday. It is a direct competitor to Kite but they have some variations that will make their products a little different. Bluebird just announced really impressive results for its CAR-T candidate called bb2121; another plus for the treatment. Their treatment is so good that even patients in trial that had tried six to seven other treatments had a 90-100% response rate.