The number of people with newly diagnosed inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) has exploded in recent years and there is no known cure. Even at our small firm we have two people with both Crohn’s disease and Colitis, both chronic, painful and often debilitating digestive diseases that afflict millions of Americans and many millions more worldwide.
Living with a chronic disorder such as IBD is not easy. Many patients experience good days between bouts of bad days that may be severe enough to require a hospital stay or surgery. But most people can overcome IBD, as two U.S. presidents–Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy–have shown. Ike needed surgery for the vague, ill-defined discomfort in the lower abdomen that turned out to be chronic “dry” Crohn’s Disease. JFK was diagnosed with colitis at the Mayo Clinic in the 1930s as a teenager.
For more information on IBD a good place to start is the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America ( http://www.ccfa.org/), which is dedicated to finding the cure for Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis. Also, if you know someone who suffers from IBD, there are clinical trials in progress (http://www.ccfa.org/trials/?TMI=2).
Large cap companies in this space have treatments for Crohn’s and colitis such as the Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) drug Remicade (http://www.remicade.com/) and the Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT) drug Humira (http://www.humira.com/).
For the future, sales of newer and emerging agents will outpace the decline in sales of older, established agents, according to findings from Decision Resources (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/moderate-growth-in-the-crohns-disease-drug-market-will-mask-dramatic-changes-as-sales-of-newer-and-emerging-agents-will-outpace-the-decline-in-sales-of-older-established-agents-2011-12-13).
As this is a smallcap blog, what are some small cap healthcare stocks concentrated on finding a cure or new treatments for current patients that could benefit from this proposed growth?
Burlington MA-based Coronado Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: CNDO; http://www.coronadobiosciences.com ) , a biopharmaceutical company, engages in the development of novel immunotherapy biologic agents for inflammatory diseases and cancer. The company’s principal pharmaceutical product candidate in clinical development is TSO (Trichuris suis ova or CNDO-201), a biologic for the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. CNDO has a $132 million market cap and trades near $7.50, with a 52-week range of$4.95 – $11. Average volume is about 50,000 shares a day.
Israel-based BioLineRx, Ltd. (Nasdaq: BLRX, http://www.biolinerx.com/), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical development company, announced this week that it has received approval from Israeli regulators to commence a phase 2 clinical trial of BL-7040, an orally available molecule for treating IBD. BLRX trades near $3.15 at about 250,000 shares a day, with a 52 week low of 2.53 and a 52 week high of 6.87 .
Columbia, MD-based Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: OSIR, http://www.osiristx.com/), a stem cell company, focuses on the development and marketing of therapeutic products to treat various medical conditions. The company’s lead biologic drug candidate is Prochymal, which is in phase 2 and 3 clinical trials for various indications, including Crohn’s disease. Osiris is one of the very few companies in the hotly contested stem cell space that has positive cash flow. OSIR stock price is near $4.70, with a 52- week range of$4.12-$8.39 and currently trades near 100,000 shares a day.
Raleigh, NC-based Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: SLXP, http://www.salix.com/) is a specialty pharmaceutical company for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders in the United States. The company’s marketing products include APRISO for the maintenance of remission of ulcerative colitis in adults; post-irradiation (factitial) proctitis, as an adjunct in the treatment of chronic ulcerative colitis. Further, it has various product candidates under development for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis. SLXP has nearly a $3B market cap, trades about 750,000 shares a day with a 52-week range of $25.64-$50.76.
San Diego, CA based Santarus Inc. (Nasdaq: SNTS, http://www.santarus.com/), a specialty biopharmaceutical company, announced in February that the FDA has accepted for filing the company’s new drug application for UCERIS™ (budesonide) tablets 9 mg. Santarus is seeking marketing approval in the U.S. of UCERIS 9 mg for the induction of remission of mild to moderate active ulcerative colitis. Its products under development include the above mentioned Budesonide MMX, which completed two phase 3 clinical studies for the treatment of ulcerative colitis. SNTS is near $300 million market cap and trades nearly 350,000 shares a day with a 52-week range of $2.40-$5.14.
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