Biotech investors should take note that some of their favorite stocks may soon be listed as part of a recognized index for the first time.
On Friday, the NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. announced their semi-annual re-ranking of the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (Nasdaq:NBI), which will become effective with the market open on Monday, November 23, 2009.
The re-ranking will result in the following eight securities being added to the Index:
Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:SPPI). Prior to this news, this company had no index memberships. SPPI is a commercial-stage biotechnology company with a focus on oncology, develops and commercializes a portfolio of drug products. Its marketed products include ZEVALIN, a form of cancer therapy called radioimmunotherapy for the treatment of non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL); and FUSILEV, which is indicated after high-dose methotrexate therapy in patients with osteosarcoma. The company is also developing apaziquone for the treatment of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. Its phase II products include Ozarelix, a drug being investigated for benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate, and hormone dependent prostate cancer; and Ortataxel, a third-generation taxane. In addition, it has exclusive worldwide rights to Renazorb and Renalan and related compounds.
Poniard Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:PARD), together with its subsidiary, NeoRx Manufacturing Group, Inc., focuses on the development and commercialization of oncology products for people with cancer. Its lead platform product candidate, Picoplatin, is a platinum-based cancer therapy that is designed to overcome platinum resistance associated with chemotherapy in solid tumors. Picoplatin is being studied in various cancer indications, combinations, and formulations. Poniard Pharmaceuticals is conducting a phase III clinical trial of intravenous picoplatin in small cell lung cancer; two phase II clinical trials in metastatic colorectal and castration-resistant (hormone refractory) prostate cancers; and a clinical trial of oral picoplatin in solid tumors.
China Sky One Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq:CSKI). Through its subsidiaries, the company engages in the development, manufacture, marketing, and sale of over-the-counter, branded nutritional supplements, and over-the-counter plant and herb based pharmaceutical and medicinal products primarily in China. The companys products include sumei slim patch to foster weight loss and prevent weight gain; pain killer patch used for the treatment of various ailments, including fever, headache, dysentery, diarrhea, and stiffness and pain in the neck caused by hypertension; anti-hypertension patch that improves circulation and reduces blood pressure; and dysmenorrheal patch for pain relief from dysmenorrheal in a womans critical days, and for regulating pain and catamenia.
Hi-Tech Pharmacal Co., Inc. (Nasdaq:HITK), which develops, manufactures, markets, and sells generic, prescription, over-the-counter (OTC), and nutritional products in liquid and semisolid dosage forms in the United States. It produces a range of products for various disease states, including asthma, bronchial disorders, dermatological disorders, allergies, pain, stomach, oral care, neurological disorders, glaucoma, and other conditions. The companys generic pharmaceutical products include oral solutions and suspensions, topical creams and ointments, and nasal sprays.
Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq:VNDA), is the Rockville, Maryland based biopharmaceutical company, engages in the development and commercialization of clinical-stage drug candidates for central nervous system disorders. Its product portfolio includes Iloperidone (oral), a compound for the treatment of schizophrenia completed Phase III clinical trial; and Tasimelteon, which completed Phase III clinical trials for transient insomnia and chronic primary insomnia. The companys products also comprise Iloperidone (Injectible) for the treatment of schizophrenia and Tasimelteon for the treatment of depression, which are in the Phase II initiation status. The company was founded in 2002.
Vical Incorporated (Nasdaq:VICL), engages in the research and development of biopharmaceutical products based on its DNA delivery technologies for the prevention and treatment of serious or life-threatening diseases. It develops DNA-based vaccines and therapeutics for the prevention/treatment of infectious diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer, including Allovectin-7 cancer immunotherapeutic, a Phase III clinical trial product for the treatment of metastatic melanoma; Therapeutic vaccine for cytomegalovirus, a Phase II clinical trial product to prevent viral reactivation and disease after transplant; Prophylactic vaccine for H5N1 pandemic influenza virus, which completed its Phase I clinical trial to protect against infection, disease, and/or viral shedding; Prophylactic vaccine for cytomegalovirus, a preclinical status product, which prevents infection before and during pregnancy to preclude fetal transmission; and Therapeutic vaccine for herpes simplex type 2 virus, a research status product that prevents recurring flare-ups.
SIGA Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:SIGA) is a biotechnology company, engages in the discovery, development, and commercialization of anti-infectives, antibiotics, and vaccines for the prevention and treatment of serious infectious diseases. The company focus on products for use in defense against biological warfare agents, such as smallpox, arenaviruses (hemorrhagic fevers), and other category A viral agents. Its lead product, ST-246, is an orally administered anti-viral drug that targets orthopox viruses. The companys product candidates also include ST-294 and ST-193, which demonstrates antiviral activity in cell culture assays against arenavirus pathogens; and ST-669, a broad spectrum antiviral candidate, for various viruses in the Poxviridae, Filoviridae, Bunyaviridae, Arenaviridae, Flaviviridae, Togaviridae, Retroviridae, and Picornaviridae families. In addition, it also has four drug series in the pre-clinical development stage, including ST-610 and ST-148 for dengue virus of the genus Flavivirus.
Targacept, Inc. (Nasdaq:TRGT), is a biopharmaceutical company, engages in the design, discovery, and development of neuronal nicotinic receptor (NNR) Therapeutics for the treatment of diseases and disorders of the central nervous system. It markets Inversine, which is for the management of moderately severe to severe hypertension and uncomplicated cases of malignant hypertension. The companys clinical stage product candidates include TC-5214 in Phase 2b clinical trial that modulates the activity of various NNR subtypes, including multiple forms of the a4ß2 NNR; AZD3480 (TC-1734), a small molecule, which modulates the activity of the a4ß2 NNR and completed two Phase 2b clinical trials; and TC-5619, a small molecule for cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia or conditions characterized by cognitive impairment that completed a Phase 1 single and multiple rising dose clinical trial. It also has clinical stage product candidates, such as TC-2216, a product candidate for depression and anxiety disorders that completed a Phase 1 single rising dose clinical trial; and AZD1446 (TC-6683), a small molecule in Phase 1 clinical development that modulates the activity of the a4ß2 NNR.
Some of the names on the list are small caps, but all of the companies are either biotechnology or pharmaceutical and they all meet other Index eligibility criteria including minimum requirements for market value, average daily share volume and seasoning as a public company.
What does this mean? Well, investors should expect that this will end up being a net positive for the stocks involved. It may even affect the stock prices in a positive, albeit small way, relatively speaking.
It is worth noting, however, that some of the stocks have upcoming pending catalysts listed in the BioMedReports FDA and Clinical Trials Calendar and those events could affect the share prices substantially.
At the end of the day, would you rather your favorite company be making the exclusive list or being taken off of it?
Well, just know that Matrixx Initiatives, Inc (Nasdaq:MTXX) is being removed from the Index.
According to NASDAQ OMX Group, the Biotechnology Index is the basis for the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index(NYSE:SM) Fund (NASDAQ:IBB), which seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index.
In addition, options based on the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index and the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index Fund trade on various exchanges.
Disclosure: Long SPPI