Top biotech stocks worth watching based on alternative data metrics


For the past year and a half, there has been a lot of focus on the biotech sector. Since the COVID-19 has entered our everyday lives. billions of people around the planet hoped for a vaccine, and fortunately, several effective vaccines were developed. That's why the spotlight for biotech investors (and investors from other segments later too) has been on companies that have developed effective vaccines and treatments.

For example, the shares of Moderna, previously known only to the investors that followed the biotech sector closely, are up more than 1300% since the beginning of the pandemic:

Besides the stocks engaged in COVID treatments, there are many more biotech stocks to look at, and our today's analysis will cover the full sector and main players in it over the past month (in total, there are ~6600 biotech companies in the United States).

To begin with, let's see which stocks from the biotech sector got the biggest amount of traffic to their website over the past quarter:

1. Ocugen Inc. ($OCGN) - a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, focuses on developing gene therapies to cure blindness diseases.

$OCGN website traffic

Ocugen has more than quadrupled investors' money this year thanks to interest in the COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin, let's see if this stock will bring us more:

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2. CRISPR Therapeutics AG ($CRSP) - a gene-editing company, focuses on developing transformative gene-based medicines for serious human diseases. The company develops its products using Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9), a gene-editing technology that allows for precise directed changes to genomic DNA.

$CRSP website traffic

Crispr was the first public company to emerge based on the gene-editing technology called CRISPR-CAS9. However, good science doesn’t always make for a great company. In 2021, $CRSP stock is having a tough time turning innovation into worthwhile drugs, and investors are out of patience (since the beginning of 2021, $CRSP stock is down over 40% - shares are at $80 and the company has a market capitalization of $6B):

3. Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated ($VRTX) - the company engages in developing and commercializing therapies for treating cystic fibrosis.

$VRTX website traffic

This stock has also given lots of headaches to the investors over the past year - investors worry that Vertex is struggling to expand beyond its core portfolio of cystic fibrosis (CF) treatments. However, $VRTX has delivered an excellent performance during the Q3  - revenue increased by 29% to $1.98 billion from the year-ago period while net income jumped 28% to $852 million. Will this stock be able to climb out?

Despite the drop in the price of shares of $CRSP and $VRTX, investors still consider these stocks are worth buying, and as you can see from the website's traffic data, they still attract the attention of thousands of people with their investigations and treatments.

The second perspective - the number of employees. We've been collecting employees data from Linkedin, and then aggregated the collected data in a historical perspective and got the top 3 companies with the most dynamic employees growth over the past month:

1. Intra-Cellular Therapies, Inc. ($ITCI) - a biopharmaceutical company, develops novel drugs for the treatment of neuropsychiatric and neurologic diseases, and other disorders of the central nervous system (CNS) in the United States.

$ITCI number of employees

Btw, $ITCI published their Q3 financial report on November 9th and showed great figures - total revenues in Q3 grew to $22.2 million compared to $7.4 million of total revenues in the third quarter of 2020, CAPLYTAs third quarter net product revenues reached $21.6 million compared to $19 million in the second quarter of 2021 and $7.4 million in the same period last year. This stock is definitely worth keeping an eye on!

2. Mirati Therapeutics, Inc. ($MRTX) - a clinical-stage oncology company, develops product candidates to address the genetic and immunological promoters of cancer in the United States.

$MRTX number of employees

These guys are actively working on new drugs and treatments - on November 17th, $MRTX announced that it has submitted an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to evaluate the Company's synthetic lethal PRMT5 inhibitor, MRTX1719, for the treatment of methylthioadenosine phosphoylase (MTAP)-deleted cancers.

3. Turning Point Therapeutics, Inc. ($TPTX) - a clinical-stage precision oncology biopharmaceutical company, engages in designing and developing therapies that target genetic drivers of cancer.

$TPTX number of employees

The $TPTX keep setting anti-records for their stock price - now it's a new 12-month low at $37.10 and they have already fallen out of favor with hedge funds. Nevertheless, they've been actively hiring new employees over the past month, will there be a boost?  

We don't have clear statistical evidence that the growth of employees affects the stock price on hand, but following the usual logic - if the company is actively hiring more staff, then it is empowering and developing, which may affect the stock's price in the future.

And the cherry on the top - let's take a look at the most discussed biotech stocks on Twitter over the past week to be in the middle of crossfire!

1. iSpecimen Inc. ($ISPC) - provides technology that connects life science researchers who need human biofluids, tissues, and living cells for their research with biospecimens available in healthcare provider organizations worldwide.

$ISPC number of ticker mentions on Twitter

iSpecimen stock was on the move since Monday after announcing partnerships with the U.S. Government and private researchers for Covid-19 research. After it, more than 56 million shares of $ISPC stock have been traded (just to let you go deep into the numbers, the company’s daily average trading volume is about 65K shares. And as a result, the stock price has doubled within a couple of days:

2. Longeveron Inc. ($LGVN) - a clinical-stage biotechnology company, engages in developing cellular therapies for aging-related and life-threatening conditions.

$LGVN number of ticker mentions on Twitter

You can see that the $LGVN stock has been actively discussed over the 2 past weeks - the reason is that on Nov. 18 they announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted a Rare Pediatric Disease designation to experimental drug Lomecel-B in treating a rare congenital heart defect. And from that moment, the company's shares have jumped close to 11 times higher (WOW). The big increase was caused by an epic short-squeeze around the stock:

3. Adagio Therapeutics, Inc. ($ADGI) - a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialization of antibody-based solutions for infectious diseases in the United States.

$ADGI number of ticker mentions on Twitter

Biotech stocks diverged Tuesday with Adagio Therapeutics on the rise again on the potential for its next-generation antibody to target Covid's omicron variant, and Adagio stock rocketed more than 86%:

How did you like today's analysis? Are there any biotech stocks you consider buying? And what are your thoughts about the mind-blowing increase in stock prices for the last 3 companies?

To sum it up, we'd like to underline that biotech stocks have and continue to make waves across the stock market today and both investors and retail traders should keep an eye on them!

The data from today's analysis is available here: https://contora.ai/top_companies?industry=Biotechnology&growth=website traffic&over=last quarter

You can easily check other alternative data points for these 4 companies (and any other US public company) just by clicking on their tickers :)

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