Stocks

Regeneron & Gilead: Covid Treatment Stocks Back In Focus As Winter Nears

Our indicative theme on Covid-19 Treatment Stocks – which includes biotech and pharma companies selling or developing treatments for the novel Coronavirus – is up by 16% year-to-date, compared to the S&P 500 which is up about 4%. While the long-term demand for Covid-19 treatments is not clear, considering the progress being made on the vaccine front, demand for therapies should rise over the next few months, as Covid infections are expected to increase over the winter. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN), up 58% year to date, is the biggest driver of the themes return, while Gilead Sciences (GILD) has been a laggard, down -1.5% year-to-date. Below is a bit more about the companies and how they have fared this year.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) recently indicated that its experimental Covid-19 treatment that involves a cocktail of two antibodies was effective in reducing viral loads and improving symptoms in non-hospitalized Covid-19 patients. The drug was administered to President Donald Trump, who tested Covid-positive last week. The stock is up 58% year-to-date.

REGN

Eli Lilly and Company (LLY) is developing multiple potential neutralizing antibodies to prevent or treat the novel Coronavirus. The company is also working with Amgen to manufacture and boost supplies of the potential treatments. The company is seeking emergency use authorization from the FDA for its LY-CoV555 antibody. The stock is up 14% this year.

Gilead Sciences’ (GILD) wide-spectrum anti-viral drug Remdesivir, which was initially developed for Ebola, has received emergency authorization from the FDA for use in hospitalized patients and patients with moderate symptoms. However, the stock is down by about -1.5% year to date, as gains from Covid-19 treatments were likely offset by the rejection of its Rheumatoid Arthritis drug.

Incyte (INCY) is leveraging some of its existing drugs for Covid-19 treatment, including the arthritis drug baricitinib which it co-developed with Eli Lilly. The company is also working with Novartis on using a blood and bone marrow cancer medicine called ruxolitinib in Covid patients. The stock is up by roughly 4%.

What if you’re looking for a more balanced portfolio instead? Here’s a high-quality portfolio to beat the market, with over 100% return since 2016, versus about 50% for the S&P 500. Comprised of companies with strong revenue growth, healthy profits, lots of cash, and low risk, it has outperformed the broader market year after year, consistently.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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