It's been a crazy year for the stock exchange and biotech shares were not immune, but if you are looking to choose biotech stocks
for your portfolio, here are a few picks for small biotechnology and drug development companies that survived, some even showing overall growth, in the face of economic turmoil in 2008.
specializes in drug development and commercialization for medications to treat C. difficile
, Staph. aureus
and other infectious diseases found in hospital settings. Their pipeline
includes a number of products in Phase II and III trials, two on the market, and they have strategic relations with giants like EliLilly and GlaxoSmithKline. VPHM stock, worth about $8 in January 2008, is priced at nearly $13 today, and is still steadily climbing. The company, founded in 1994, employs 170 people.
A relatively new company, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
was founded in 2002, and their shares have shown steady growth since before January 2005. In early January 2008, the shares were worth about $30 and although there were some dips to less than $20 in October/November of this year, they ended up around $25 at the end of December. Alnylam develops RNAi
therapies for respiratory diseases and Huntington's, among others and has a broad spectrum of products in its pipeline. This startup also has agreements with number of large companies including Novartis, Biogen and Roche.
Founded in 1988, Microbix
began as a commercialization company specializing in biologics, developing products that are near the end of the pipeline and forming licensing agreements with larger distributors. The core company reported a net profit
at their fiscal year end in December 2008, and will continue to use that money, as in previous years, to fund development of more late-stage candidates. A record performance
showing 23% growth in 2008, good cash flow and optimistic outlook for 2009 make this a top stock for 2008.
Although Dynamotive Energy Systems
stock has lost value in 2008, so did a lot of green biotech
and biofuel companies, and it has held its own since September, hovering around the $0.25 mark. The bio-oil
company continues to grow and signed a new agreement, for project development in China, on December 1, 2008, generating a burst of excitement and growth for DYMTF shares.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals is a discovery and development company focused on small molecule drugs for viral diseases such as Hepatitis C
, autoimmune diseases and more. Their HCV (HepC virus) protease inhibitor drug, Telaprevir, is in Phase III trials, but the company also has a huge pipeline
of additional candidates and collaborates with the likes of GlaxoSmithKline and Merck. Vertex shares were worth just under $25 in January 2008, peaked at nearly $35 in July and have held value showing a strong finish at just under $30 in December.
InNexus Biotechnology Inc. is based in British Columbia, Canada but also trades as ISXBF on NASD OTC:BB. Formed in 2001, this drug development company is driven to improve the potency of monoclonal antibody-based drugs
. Shares of this startup lost value during the crash of 2008, falling from about $0.15 to $0.06, but then held steady between $0.06 and $0.10. IXS makes the list because of patents obtained in Europe
in October 2008, and the awarding of the Ed Denison Business Leader of the Year
award in Arizona, to InNexus CEO Jeff Morhet, signs that the company is on the right track