Beam, SpringWorks Biggest Gainers on BioSpace List

Barry Cohen

Shares up more than 500% and 300% since going public

Among the public companies that made the BioSpace list of the top up and coming life sciences firms in 2019 and 2020, the majority have seen gains in their share prices. Given this metric, investors might want to track the progress of those still-private firms in the event they take the initial public offering route down the line.

BioSpace’s top five for 2021 are Sana Biotech (which I wrote about on Jan. 18 and which plans to make a public offering) and private companies EQRX, Nuvation Bio, ArsenalBio and Triumvira Immunologics.

Still private from the 2020 ranking are Anthos Therapeutics, Century Therapeutics, Qpex Biopharma and Thrive Earlier Detection. Members of the 2019 group that remain in that category include NanOlogy, Cullinan Oncology, Ambys Medicines, SkyHawk Therapeutics and Asun Biopharma.

Chalking up the highest appreciation in share price among now-public companies that made the 2019 and 2020 listings is Beam Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:BEAM), whose value has shot up more than 500% since the company’s offering. I wrote about the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech in December.

Beam is benefitting from the tidal wave of interest in gene-editing stocks. Less than two weeks ago I reported that a leading portfolio manager, Catherine Wood, the founder of ARK Investment Management, recently told Bloomberg Television that genetic engineering companies may turn out to be better investment opportunities than Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) because they have the potential to cure diseases. Let’s face it. If you have a debilitating disease, it doesn’t matter how many cars you have in the garage. Wood didn’t even include Beam among her top three favorites: Editas Medicine Inc. (NASDAQ:EDIT), CRISPR Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CRSP) and Intellia Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NTLA), which together own the majority of gene-editing technology intellectual property.


Caption: These are the companies on the BioSpace list whose stocks are in positive territory post-IPO.

SpringWorks Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:SWTX) has also had a nice run. Since going public in September 2019, shares of the Stamford, Connecticut-based company have climbed 315% to just over $79. In the last two weeks, the stock is up $15.

SpringWorks launched in September 2017 with $103 million and four programs licensed from Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE). The company’s focus is patients suffering from severe rare diseases and cancer. SpringWorks has two potentially registrational clinical trials in rare tumor types, as well as several other programs addressing highly prevalent, genetically defined cancers.

Others whose stocks are in positive territory since launch are Cerevel Therapeutics Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:CERE), up 37%; Mirium Pharmaceuticals Inc. (MIRM), a 34% gainer: Passage Bio Inc. (PASG), up 40%; Viela Bio Inc. (VIE), up 52%; and Akero Therapeutics (AKRO), up 55%.

On the other side of the ledger are Cyclerion Therapeutics Inc. (CYCN), down 75% to $3.30; Allogene Therapeutics Inc. (ALLO), a dip of 36%; Akouos Inc. (AKUS), down 25%; and Gossamer Bio (GOSS), off 43%.

Disclosure: The author has positions in Pfizer and Gossamer Bio.

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About the author:

Barry Cohen

Barry Cohen has nearly 40 years experience in communications and marketing, the majority in senior positions at large international health care companies, including Abbott Laboratories and Bayer Inc.

He has contributed to a number of financial websites, writing primarily about the stocks of health care companies.

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