Babe Ruth wasn’t afraid to swing for the fences. That’s how he became Major League Baseball’s home run king for decades. If you’re a Babe Ruth-style investor, you don’t mind to swing for the fences sometimes, either.
Probably any investor would say that buying a stock that doubles in a year would certainly qualify as a home run. Few sectors provide as many opportunities for this kind of rapid increase as biotech. With this in mind, here are three biotech stocks that have a reasonable chance to double by next summer.
1. Amarin Corporation plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:AMRN)
Amarin Corporation plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:AMRN)’s stock has dropped like a sinking fastball over the past year. Shares are down more than 60% since last summer and around 30% year-to-date. The steep decline stems largely from Amarin Corporation plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:AMRN) tackling commercialization of Vascepa on its own. At least at first glance, the odds that shares could double by next summer seem slim at best.
What looking at the stock’s chart doesn’t reveal, though, is that Amarin Corporation plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:AMRN) expects a huge decision by the Food and Drug Administration by Dec. 20. The FDA will determine whether the company’s highly concentrated fish oil drug Vascepa can be marketed for treating patients with high triglyceride levels between 200 mg/dL and 499 mg/dL.
Amarin Corporation plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:AMRN) already won regulatory approval for selling Vascepa for super-high triglyceride levels of 500 mg/dL and above. However, the potential market size that would open up if the FDA grants approval in December is 10 times the size of the company’s market available currently. The average analysts’ price target for Amarin Corporation plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:AMRN), according to Thomson/First Call, is $16.50 — more than triple the stock’s price now.
2. Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACHN)
Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACHN) recently experienced a delay in the game that it had hoped to play. The FDA placed a clinical hold on hepatitis C drug sovaprevir after patients in a phase 1 drug-drug interaction study with the drug combined with ritonavir-boosted atazanavir were found to have elevated liver enzyme levels. Shares dropped 25% in one day as a result.
This delay doesn’t mean that Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACHN) can’t still emerge as a winner, though. There remains a distinct possibility that the elevated liver enzyme levels stemmed from the combination of the drugs, as opposed to being caused by sovaprevir itself. The issue hasn’t been experienced with any other trials involving sovaprevir thus far.
If the safety concerns with the drug are ultimately found to be overblown, Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACHN) should bounce back in a major way. The company also has other hep-C drugs in development that present future catalysts. The median analysts’ price target for Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACHN) is $12 per share. That’s not quite double the current price, but it’s not too far off.