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Out of all investing topics covered over time, small-cap biotech is usually amongst the favorites.Here are 3Biotech Stocks that are under $5:

Synergy Pharmaceuticals

This company is a $500 million, small company that develops numerous novel treatments for GI (gastrointestinal) diseases and disorders. It has a couple of main products in its pipeline...


Synergy Pipeline

Candidate number one is SP-304 (Plecanatide), a treatment used for constipation and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).

Currently, SP-304 is in stage three trials for both indications, all of which are being split within two studies. That is 4 catalysts for a single drug, all stage 3.

It’s a sweet spot for development-phase biotech, as stage 3 results generally will decide whether a therapeutic makes it to market or not.

After searching stage two trials, it is convincing that Plecanatide has a solid potential for approval. This drug met all of the endpoints for both constipation and IBS — and with a solid safety profile. Results specifically statistically showed substantial improvement in frequency of CSBM (complete spontaneous bowel movement).

Plecanatide works like a drug referred to as Linaclotide from Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, yet with reduced side effects (lower diarrhea rate). Revenue for the drug reached $95.5 million last quarter. Sales have been rising ~57 percent year after year.

Needless to say, those would be big numbers for an organization valued at a mere $500 million. Linzess, for perspective, is Ironwood's sole commercial product. They sport a marketplace cap of $1.77 billion.

Adding to the potential for growth is SP-333, an additional novel candidate, targeted at treating opioid-induced constipation and ulcerative colitis. It likely is that Synergy is waiting to check what happens with Plecanatide prior to entering into stage three for SP-333.


Geron Corporation

It’s a development-phase biotechnology business that has a market cap right above $600 million. Their future largely depends upon the successful creation of Imetelstatm a cancer therapeutic — its main candidate in the pipeline.


Geron Pipeline

Imetelstat will work by inhibiting a molecule that is responsible for the regulation of cell division, telomerase. Without getting too in-depth, Imetelstat will prevent malignant tumors from spreading by cutting off their directions to do so.

Also, non-clinical information implies that inhibiting telomerase is especially efficient at restricting malignant progenitor cell proliferation, which have high degrees of telomerase and are considered to be the main drivers of tumor progression and growth.

As for efficacy, the information for Imetelstat is very positive thus far. Right now, the main indication for the drug is myelofibrosis, an often fatal and rare type of leukemia that does not have any available disease-modifying drugs.

Imetelstat had the ability to generate a 44 percent response rate in its latest trials, much better than any additional treatment anywhere close to development. The drug, likewise, resulted in ~23 percent partial and complete remissions. This may sound low, yet it’s an extremely deadly disease with a survivability rate of 1 to 3 years.

It still is early in its development stage; however, with this type of promising information and Big Pharma currently at its side, the future of Geron is looking bright.


AcelRx Pharmaceuticals


AcelRx, at a $180 million marketplace cap, is almost as small as a biotech company can get.

Currently, AcelRx is creating therapies for the treatment of pain, which by itself, potentially sounds like nothing new... Though, AxelRx's novel therapeutics’ value is in the fast delivery of pain medicine in which standard intravenous and oral techniques aren’t practical.

The company specifically targets the battlefield and specific hospital settings/ER situations. As a matter of fact, the company recently was awarded a $17 million development contract from U.S. Army Medical Research & Materiel Command inside the United States Department of Defense.

Their top product candidate includes Zalviso, an oral tab which rapidly is absorbed via oral mucosa — a specialized kind of tissue lining the mouth.

This method of delivery permits Zalviso to bypass the GI tract and first-pass metabolism inside the liver. It combines the convenience of oral delivery with the speed of IV delivery.

AcelRx, in mid-2014, was bidding for an NDA (new drug application) through the Food and Drug Administration. At that time, shares were trading close to $11.00. A CRL (complete response letter) from the Food and Drug Administration requesting additional information, however, sent its stock plummeting.

In May of 2015, they were denied a request to meet with the Food and Drug Administration, pretty much forcing it to conduct an extra study. Those events likely will set back Zalviso’s approval toward the 2016’s back end, which was just enough to set off an additional major sell-off.

For long-term investors, it was undoubtedly unwelcome information, yet for anybody not yet within the stock, it might be a big discount. As a matter of fact, we believe those events made AcelRx amongst the most appealing biotech stocks right now under $5.00.


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