Do You Have These Health Care Stocks On Your Watchlist Today?

Health care stocks have long been a popular segment of the stock market among investors. Regardless of geopolitical sentiments or the state of the economy, the industry would still be relevant given its importance to our daily lives. Stocks in the health care sector would thrive when there is new drug discovery or a positive trial result. Likewise, there will be setbacks when the drugs do not live up to expectations. So, this makes the industry quite interesting in its very own way. After all, there is a continuous stream of new developments. 

For example, Eiger BioPharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: EIGR) soared by more than 40% this week. This is largely due to its recent announcement regarding the effect of Peginterferon Lambda (Lambda) on patients infected with the coronavirus. According to its Phase 3 TOGETHER study, it appears that the drug significantly reduces the risk of hospitalizations or emergency room visits greater than six hours by 50% and death by 60%. Understandably, any new developments to reduce the impact of the coronavirus would be a huge welcome. 

Elsewhere, Apexigen announced that it will be going public by merging with the special purpose acquisition company Brookline Capital Acquisition Corp (NASDAQ: BCAC). The deal will likely strengthen Apexigen’s balance sheet to further advance its Phase 2 development lead program, sotigalimab. Also, it would hopefully maximize the therapeutic potential of Apexigen’s APXiMAB™ antibody discovery platform. Overall, it is understandable why the health care sector is a staple among investors. With that in mind, here are 3 of the top health care stocks in the stock market today. 

Health Care Stocks To Watch Today

Merck & Co

To kick start the list, we will be looking at the global health care company, Merck & Co. Essentially, the company offers various health solutions such as prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and even animal health products. It sells human health pharmaceutical products primarily to drug wholesalers and retailers, hospitals, governments, and managed health care providers. Now, despite the volatility of the stock market, MRK stock has shown resilience over the past year. Furthermore, there have been several positive developments lately that may excite investors.

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For starters, the company and AstraZeneca (NASDAQ: AZN) recently announced additional positive results from the Phase 3 OlympiA trial. The trial aims to determine the effectiveness of adjuvant treatment of patients with germline BRCA-mutated, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative high-risk early breast cancers. Specifically, for patients who have been treated with neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy. To the company’s delight, LYNPARZA showed a statistically significant improvement in overall survival versus the use of a placebo. To say the least, this is a great development for the prospect of the treatment of breast cancer. 

On top of that, Merck’s collaboration with the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, and the European Thoracic Oncology Platform also showed encouraging results from their pivotal Phase 3 KEYNOTE-091 trial. It appears that adjuvant treatment with KEYTRUDA improves disease-free survival and reduces the risk of disease recurrence or death by 24% compared to placebo in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. In fact, this would mark the 6th positive pivotal study evaluating a KEYTRUDA-based regimen in the early stages of cancer. Thus, it has now become a foundation in the treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer. Given these exciting developments, would you consider adding MRK stock to your watchlist?

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AbbVie

Another top health care company right now would be AbbVie. For those unaware, this is a research-based biopharmaceutical company. For most parts, it engages in the research and development, manufacturing, commercialization, and sale of medicines and therapies. In less than a decade, the company had invested more than $50 billion in research to discover and develop new medicines. Despite all the medicinal advancements, there are still many diseases with unmet needs. Therefore, AbbVie aims to be a frontrunner to have a positive impact and provide a better standard of care. 

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On Wednesday, AbbVie announced that its RINVOQ (upadacitinib) has received the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the treatment of adults with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis. The drug is meant for patients who had inadequate response or intolerance to one or more tumor necrosis factor blockers. Well, most patients who received RINVOQ achieved clinical response as early as week 2 and steroid-free clinical remission at one year. This is an important milestone for the treatment of ulcerative colitis as it remains one of the diseases with unpredictable symptoms that can affect a patient’s daily activities.

Additionally, there was another drug approved by Health Canada for the treatment of adults with active psoriatic arthritis. The company’s SKYRIZI (risankizumab) can be used alone or in combination with a conventional non-biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drug. This is the second indication for SKYRIZI in Canada whereby it was previously approved for the treatment of adults with plaque psoriasis back in 2019. With that in mind, would ABBV stock be a top health care stock to watch now?

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Moderna

Last but not least, we have one of the pioneers that developed the coronavirus vaccine, Moderna. In detail, the biotechnology company focuses its resources on creating transformative medicines based on messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA). It believes that mRNA is the “software of life” as every cell in the body uses it to provide real-time instructions to make the proteins necessary to drive all aspects of biology. MRNA stock has risen more than 15% within the past month.

biotech stocks (MRNA stock)

Two years into the pandemic, the company’s coronavirus vaccine remains an integral part of our efforts to combat the pandemic. Earlier this week, the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare of Japan announced an agreement with Moderna for an additional 70 million doses of its booster vaccine. If authorized, the delivery will begin in the second half of 2022. On top of that, Health Canada has also recently approved the usage of its vaccine for active immunization in children aged 6 to 11 years old. This follows the recent authorization of its vaccine in the same age group in Australia and the European Union. 

Meanwhile, in the U.S., Moderna announced that it has submitted a request to the FDA for an amendment to the emergency use authorization to allow the fourth dose of its coronavirus vaccine. This is based on the recently published data in the U.S. and Israel following the emergence of Omicron. As such, the demand for the company’s vaccine would likely still be in high demand in the near term. All things considered, should investors be paying more attention to MRNA stock?

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