NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / February 3, 2017 / The Biotech Industry has experienced some steep losses in recent years, but has begun to show some signs of stabilization in 2017. The Industry was home to some impressive gains for investors from early 2013 to about the halfway mark of 2015. Over that period, the major biotech ETFs skyrocketed more than 150 percent. In comparison the S&P 500 Index posted a gain of approximately 50 percent during the same period. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index ETF and the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF have risen 5.46 percent and 10.0 percent, respectively year-to-date. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index ETF and the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF both fell approximately 40 percent from their peak in mid-July 2015 through February 2016.
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One of the biggest catalysts for impressive gains in the biotech industry has been acquisition talks. There were 326 biotech mergers & acquisitions deals completed in 2016, which were worth a total of approximately $91 billion. Experts have forecasted that number to rise in 2017 as a recent Deloitte study showed research & development productivity of 12 of the biggest biopharma companies fell to a 7-year low in 2016. Additonally, the study showed that the top 14 biopharma firms with the most cash held a total of $220 billion in cash and marketable securities at the end of the third quarter 2016.
Let's Take a Closer Look at Today's Trending Biotech Tickers
Benitec Biopharma's shares skyrocketed 134.38 percent to close at $3.75 a share Thursday. The stock traded between $1.55 and $4.44 on volume of 10.05 million shares traded. Benitec is focused on developing innovative therapeutics based on its patented gene-silencing technology called ddRNAi or 'expressed RNAi'. On February 2nd, the company reported that it had made significant progress with its ddRNAi technology for the development of therapeutics for the treatment of ocular diseases, highlighting Benitec's collaboration with 4D Molecular Therapeutics.
"Having a commercially attractive route of administration is a significant step forward in the program. One of the major limitations of most ocular gene therapy applications is the use of a highly complex surgical technique called sub-retinal injection for delivery into the eye. We are developing viral vectors which can efficiently transduce cells within the retina following an office-friendly, intravitreal injection. This is the same route of administration used for the standard of care treatments for Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), including Lucentis and Eylea," commented Dr David Suhy, Benitec's Chief Scientific Officer.
Protalix Biotherapeutics' shares spiked 17.46 percent to close at $0.75 a share Thursday. The stock traded between $0.62 and $0.80 on volume of 5.45 million shares traded. Protalix's first product manufactured by ProCellEx, taliglucerase alfa, was approved for marketing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May 2012 and, subsequently, by the regulatory authorities of other countries.
"Given our recent financing and the projected revenue stream from sales of alfataliglicerase in Brazil, we are well capitalized to deliver on our anticipated, value building milestones. Over the course of 2017 and into 2018, we expect to announce data from our phase III clinical trial on Fabry disease, final results from our phase II clinical trial of alidornase alfa for the treatment of Cystic Fibrosis and results from our phase II clinical trial of OPRX-106 for the treatment of ulcerative colitis. We expect that 2017 will be an extremely important, inflection year for us, with a number of significant commercial and clinical milestones that should bring considerable value to our stockholders," said Moshe Manor, Protalix's President and CEO, in a press release on January 9th.
Today's Research Coverage Includes:
Benitec Biopharma Ltd. (NASDAQ: BNTC)
Protalix Biotherapeutics Inc. (NYSE MKT: PLX)
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