Some of the hottest biotech stocks are safe and recession-proof. After all, we can’t stop people from aging – at least, not yet. We can’t stop people from seeking treatments for a myriad of issues. Plus, there’s growing demand for innovation in gene therapies, immune-oncology, precision medicine, machine-learning drug discovery, and treatments for unmet medical needs.
Plus, according to Grand View Research, the global biotech industry could be worth up to $2.44 trillion by 2028. “The factors driving the market include favorable government policies, the launch of new and advanced products, robust investment in the biotechnology sector, and rising demand for synthetic biology,” they added. That being said, if you’re looking for solid ways to trade the sector, here are seven top ways.
|XBI||SPDR S&P Biotech ETF||$80.69|
|BIB||ProShares Ultra Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF||$60.54|
SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI)
As I’ve mentioned, ETFs are some of the most valuable investing tools. Not only do they offer solid diversification, they do so at low cost. Look at the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (NYSE:XBI), for example. With an expense ratio of 0.53%, the $83 ETF offers exposure to top biotech names such as Horizon Therapeutics(NASDAQ:HZNP), Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) , Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB), Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) and more.
Granted, the XBI didn’t have a great year, like most other stocks. However, if the XBI ETF can break from consolidation around $80.68, I’d like to see it refill its bearish gap around $110. Even Baird analyst Mike Perrone, CFA appears bullish, noting, “Healthcare tends to perform relatively well during periods of economic slowdown or recession as the sector is regarded as acyclical/defensive, and in recent months we have seen positive inflows into healthcare broadly given the current weak economic backdrop.”
ProShares Ultra Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (BIB)
Another red-hot biotech ETF to consider is the ProShares Ultra Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (NASDAQ:BIB). At $60.54, with an expense ratio of 0.95%, this ETF offers exposure to stocks, including Clearside Biomedical (NASDAQ:CLSD), Passage Bio (NASDAQ:PASG), Adverum Biotechnologies(NASDAQ:ADVM), Leap Therapeutics (NASDAQ:LPTX), Surface Oncology (NASDAQ:SURF), Applied Molecular (NASDAQ:AMTI) and dozens more.
The BIB ETF didn’t have an exemplary year either. However, if it can break above triple top resistance dating back to March, it could potentially retest $85 a share.
AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) had a strong 2022., which I expect to last well into 2023.
Sure, there’s was a good deal of concern about could happen to the company sales when it lost patent protection on its flagship drug, Humira. However, as noted by Barron’s contributor Teresa Rivas, “The company has profitable products that have begun to fill the gap left by Humira’s decline. Investors who preferred to wait out the transition from Humira may have erred—AbbVie stock is up by more than 19%, to a recent $162, so far in 2022. Moreover, the stock looks cheap and has a handsome dividend yield. It’s worth owning—now.”
In addition, the company says that Skyrizi and Rinvoq could bring in about $15 billion in sales over the next three years. That alone would take away the sting of Humira. In addition, ABBV just increased its quarterly dividend to $1.48 a share from $1.41, or $5.92 annualized.
Axsome Therapeutics (AXSM)
Axsome Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AXSM) had an incredible year. Since Jan., the stock ran from about $35 to $76 a share, and could see higher highs. Most recently, AXSM was up on positive results from its Phase 3 trials for Alzheimer’s Disease candidate AXS-05. Not only does this treatment have Breakthrough status from the US FDA, it met it primary and key secondary endpoints in delaying relapse times, and preventing relapse of agitation in patients.
In addition, the stock has been running on US FDA approval for its Auvelity treatment for major depressive disorder. Approval of the drug could add further momentum to the stock. With that approval, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Charles Duncan raised the firm’s price target on Axsome Therapeutics to $96 from $88 with an Overweight rating.
Even better, the company recently announced its Sunosi treatment met its primary endpoint. If successful, it could help many improve cognitive function in patients with excessive daytime sleepiness as a result of obstructive sleep apnea.
Massachusetts-based Ardelyx (NASDAQ:ARDX) is another hot biotech to consider heading into 2023.
All after the US FDA’s Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee (CRDAC) voted in favor of its kidney disease drug. The ruling also covers the drug’s use in patients with chronic kidney disease that are on dialysis. That’s all great news, and could lead the US FDA to approve the drug. Better, according to a company investor deck, the treatment could have “Significant market potential across 550K patients on dialysis in the U.S.” In addition, it approved, the kidney treatment could help address a big unmet medical need.
Since bottoming out around 50 cents, the stock is up to $1.94. From here, I’d like to see the ARDX stock refill its bearish gap around $7.60.
The obesity epidemic is still bursting at the seams. At the moment, 1.9 billion people are overweight, with more than 650 million considered obese.
However, that could soon change. In 2023, Altimmune (NASDAQ:ALT) is expected to release 24-week interim results from its ongoing mid-stage obesity trial with pemvidutide. If successful, it could provide a significant catalyst for the stock. So far, we know “The Phase I clinical trial was successful, leading the company to make high claims about the drug’s potential, saying that it could be as effective as bariatric surgery and that it mimics the effects of diet and exercise,” as noted by PharmaLive.com.
Even better, Goldman Sachs analyst Corinne Jenkins initiated coverage of Altimmune with a Buy rating and $20 price target. As noted by TheFly.com, “The analyst takes a positive view on the probability of a successful outcome for the Phase 2 MOMENTUM study of Altimmune’s lead asset, pemvidutide, in patients with obesity based on our assessment of the clinical data and a proprietary logistic growth model.”
Krystal Biotech (KRYS)
Krystal Biotech (NASDAQ:KRYS) could see higher highs in the new year, too. With a focus on skin diseases, the genome editing company submitted B-VEC back in June. It’s a potential treatment for dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB), a rare disease that can leave a person’s skin fragile and susceptible to blisters.
To get a bit technical, “DEB is a rare and severe disease that affects the skin and mucosal tissues. It is caused by one or more mutations in a gene called COL7A1, which is responsible for the production of the protein type VII collagen (COL7) that forms anchoring fibrils that bind the dermis (inner layer of the skin) to the epidermis (outer layer of the skin),” as noted on the company’s site.
At the moment, the US FDA has a PDUFA goal date of Feb. 17, 2023. If approved, the KRYS treatment could help meet an unmet medical need for thousands of people. In addition, the company believes this could be a$500 million opportunity for its $2.02 billion stock.
On the date of publication, Ian Cooper did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.