Pharmaceutical Stocks to Watch: Jazz, Viking, and CRISPR

pharmaceutical stocks

Pharmaceutical stocks are seeing major movement in the market today, with the spotlight shining on CRISPR Therapeutics AG (NASDAQ:CRSP), Viking Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:VKTX), and Jazz Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:JAZZ).

Pharmaceutical Stocks to Watch: Viking Therapeutics

Viking Therapeutics Inc. received attention on Wednesday morning after it released an abstract of its experimental fatty liver disease drug called VK2809 in preparation for the International Liver Congress Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) happening next month.

The company concluded that the data from the abstract provides “strong rationale for further development of VK2809 as well potential use of low-dose liver-targeted thyroid receptor beta agonist therapy as a treatment for patients with biopsy-proven NASH with fibrosis.”

The market reacted favorably to the results, with Viking’s share price jumping 14% pre-market before dropping down throughout the day and closing at $2.39 USD, down $0.13 (-1.53%). Despite the drop today, Viking’s current share price is significantly higher than its 52-week low of $3.69.

Wall Street analysts are mainly positive about Viking, with two of the nine analysts recommending a “strong buy” and six recommending a “buy.”

Pharmaceutical Stocks to Watch: Jazz Pharmaceuticals

Jazz Pharmaceuticals saw a boost after announcing positive top-line results from the Phase 3 study evaluating the safety and efficacy of JZP-258 for the treatment of cataplexy and excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) in adult patients with narcolepsy.

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The company plans to submit the Phase 3 study data for presentation at an upcoming medical meeting and will include it in the planned submission of a New Drug Application (NDA) to the FDA, along with interim data from the ongoing 24-week open-label, safety study.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals is another pharmaceutical stock gaining attention from analysts, with Brandon Folkes from Cantor Fitzgerald giving the company a “buy” rating with a target price of $185. At end of day Wednesday, JAZZ stock was $137.29, up $0.75 (+0.55%).

Pharmaceutical Stocks to Watch: CRISPR Therapeutics

CRISPR Therapeutics AG is another pharmaceutical stock that gained attention Wednesday when news that its CRISPR-Chip device can detect genetic mutations within minutes delighted the scientific community. Researchers have found various applications for CRISPR’s gene-editing technology, which makes it possible to detect DNA without amplification.

The CRISPR-Chip was created after a team of engineers at the University of California, and the Keck Graduate Institute combined CRISPR with electronic transistors made from graphene. According to designers of the CRISPR-Chip, the hand-held device could be used to evaluate the accuracy of gene-editing techniques or diagnose genetic diseases within minutes.

Despite being considered a front-runner in gene-therapy, CRISPR Therapeutics’ share price was down by end of day Wednesday at $34.21, down $0.62 (-1.78%). Seven out of 13 Wall Street analysts gave CRISPR a “buy” rating, with the pharmaceutical stock’s 12-month potential target price at $55.94.

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