CORAL GABLES, FL / ACCESSWIRE / November 15, 2018 / This month Bank of America surveyed* 225 fund managers with $641 billion in assets under management, who said the most "crowded trade" is in tech stocks; in particular the stocks known as "FAANG" (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google) and "BAT" (Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent). Investors are the least optimistic on tech stocks like these since the depths of the financial crisis and are instead directing attention to another corner of the market: healthcare.
The survey found that global investors rate health stocks their No. 1 overweight. And in November, they have been selling tech stocks to pile into health names and other such "defensives." As investors make a push to grab hold of the expanding healthcare opportunity, here are 4 stocks to watch through Q4 and into 2019: Premier Health Group, Inc. (PHGRF) (PHGI), Amarin Corporation plc (AMRN), Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ARNA), and Teladoc Health, Inc. (TDOC).
Premier Health Group, Inc. (PHGRF) (PHGI) is focused on developing innovative approaches that combine human skill-based expertise with emerging technologies for the healthcare industry. Today, however, Premier solidified its stance on the increasing opportunity that the legal marijuana industry has presented. Before the opening bell, Premier Health announced that as a part of its expansion plans, Premier Health will enter the Cannabis clinic space by a series of acquisitions, partnerships and/or launching a new Canada -based chain in the first half of 2019.
In addition to this, Premier Health Group, Inc. (PHGRF) (PHGI) is taking on new growth opportunities in the healthcare market. Earlier this month, Premier Health announced that as a part of its expansion plans it will be entering the Pharmacy market "via acquisition and/or launching a new Canada based pharmacy in H1-2019." With Premier's acquisition of HealthVue Medical Clinics in August, this could be the next phase of growth for the company. Premier Health Group, Inc. (PHGRF) (PHGI) said that it expects to provide additional updates on acquisitions in Q4-18 and Q1-19 so this could be one of the near-term events to consider.
Amarin Corporation plc (AMRN) announced the primary results from the Vascepa® (icosapent ethyl) cardiovascular (CV) outcomes trial, REDUCE-IT™ this week, following the presentation of the late-breaking clinical trial results at the 2018 Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association in Chicago, Illinois. REDUCE-IT primary results confirmed 25% relative risk reduction for the topline primary endpoint result with multiple robust demonstrations of efficacy, including 20% reduction in cardiovascular death.
Though shares initially declined following these results, Amarin's stock price has recovered on Thursday. Shares have already hit highs of $18.40 up from its Wednesday close of $16.12. "The robustness and consistency of these clinical results are exciting. Extensive scientific evaluation led to the design and conduct of this study, but the degree of benefit shown with Vascepa nevertheless exceeded our expectation," stated Steven Ketchum, president of research and development and chief scientific officer of Amarin. "We believe that these positive results identify an important new treatment option to help lower cardiovascular risk in appropriate patients. Cholesterol management lowers cardiovascular risk by 25-35%. REDUCE-IT suggests that the residual 65-75% cardiovascular risk beyond cholesterol management can be significantly lowered with Vascepa in studied patients. We again thank all of the patients, investigators, and others involved in this landmark study."
Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ARNA) and United Therapeutics Corporation (UTHR) announced today that the companies have entered into a global license agreement for Arena's Phase 3 investigational drug candidate,ralinepag, a next-generation, oral, selective and potent prostacyclin receptor agonist in development for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension.
Under the terms of the agreement, Arena will grant United Therapeutics exclusive, worldwide rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize ralinepag. In return, Arena will receive up to $1.2 billion, including an upfront payment of $800 million and potential milestone payments totaling up to $400 million based on the achievement of certain regulatory events. Additionally, Arena will receive low double-digit tiered royalties on annual net sales of ralinepag.
This news came on the heels of the company's previous announcement that it presented preclinical data for its recently announced investigational compound, APD418, a first-in-class calcium-independent myofilamentderepresso, ß3 adrenergic receptor selective antagonist, at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2018.
"A significant unmet medical need exists in the treatment of decompensated heart failure, the most common hospital diagnosis for patients over the age of 65, which continues to increase with the aging population," said Preston Klassen, MD, MHS, Executive Vice President, Research and Development and Chief Medical Officer of Arena. "We are pleased to present new preclinical data demonstrating the potential of our first-in-class compound, APD418, to improve therapeutic options by enhancing cardiac contractility while avoiding the serious adverse events commonly associated with the current standard of care."
Teladoc Health, Inc. (TDOC) reported earnings this month. Jason Gorevic, Teladoc Health's chief executive officer said, "Teladoc Health delivered very strong third quarter results. We carry significant momentum into the end of the year, as demand for our comprehensive suite of virtual care services is robust across channels and geographies. We have a tremendous growth opportunity in front of us as the entry point into the health care system where individuals can go for guided access to a fully integrated, high-quality care experience."
Teladoc has also announced the appointment of Mark Douglas Smith, MD, MBA, to its board of directors earlier this month. Dr. Smith is a professor of clinical medicine at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) and a nationally-recognized health policy and delivery system expert.
"Mark is a distinguished physician and healthcare leader with a passion for assuring access to care for all, and we are pleased to welcome him to the Teladoc Health board," said Jason Gorevic, Teladoc Health CEO. "Mark's accomplished background complements our mission and enduring commitment to transform the care experience."
Yesterday Teladoc reported that together with the University of Southern California Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics and Northwestern University, the company will be leading the first-ever, large-scale study to assess antibiotic prescribing practices in telehealth. The five-year project is funded through a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and as part of the White House's National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB). This study is expected to set a new precedent in medical literature by adding specific standards for telehealth and virtual care.
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*Bank of America Survey: http://rsch.baml.com/r?q=ui5Blsf2sZL82JuY5OSH6g&e=cburroughs%40businessinsider.com&h=0tU5cQ&ps=true