Are These Top Health Care Stocks Worth Watching Right Now?

For investors looking for the most active stocks today, health care stocks are worth considering. For one thing, health care companies are constantly innovating to combat new diseases and outbreaks. With the monkeypox outbreak in the United States, individuals may fear another pandemic. At the same time, parts of the world are still dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. With all of this happening, it is no wonder that health care stocks would come to mind for investors today. 

Speaking about Covid-19, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended Moderna‘s (NASDAQ: MRNA) COVID-19 vaccine for children and adolescents aged 6 to 17. This would allow for a rollout of the shots to begin for that age group. According to Rochelle Walensky, the director of CDC, vaccinating this demographic can provide greater confidence to families. “Children and adolescents participating in childcare, school, and other activities will have less risk for serious COVID-19 illness,” she adds.

Moreover, another health care company making headlines over the weekend is BioNTech (NASDAQ: BNTX). In short, the company and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) have made modifications to their Covid-19 vaccine. These modifications serve to target the Omicron variant, producing a significantly larger immune response. The booster shot, according to the duo, now boasts greater neutralizing antibody production levels. So much so that it ranges from 13.5 to 19.6 times higher than the current shot. With all being said, here are three more health care stocks to add to your watchlist in the stock market this week.

Healthcare Stocks To Watch Today

Axsome Therapeutics Inc.

Starting us off today, we have Axsome Therapeutics. It is a biopharmaceutical company that develops novel therapies for central nervous system conditions (CNS). It also focuses on CNS conditions that have limited treatment options. Today, the company’s stock is up by over 30% on the opening bell.

According to a released 8-K filing with SEC, the company revealed that it has received the proposed labeling from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the experimental major depressive disorder drug known as AXS-05. Earlier in the month, Axsome reported that the drug can significantly improve anhedonic symptoms in its GEMINI Phase 3 trial for major depressive disorder (MDD). Also, AXS-05 demonstrated rapid, substantial, and statistically significant improvement in symptoms of anhedonia compared with placebo.

Last month, Axsome also announced that it has completed the acquisition of Sunosi from Jazz Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: JAZZ). Sunosi is a dual-acting dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (DNRI). It is indicated to improve wakefulness in adult patients with excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) due to narcolepsy or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). With this information, should investors consider adding AXSM stock to their portfolio right now?

AXSM stock chart
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

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Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.

Walgreens is a pharmacy store chain company. The company specializes in filling prescriptions, health and wellness products, health information, and photo services. All in all, the company’s main divisions are its Retail Pharmacy USA segment and Retail Pharmacy International segment. The Retail Pharmacy USA arm includes Walgreens, which operates retail drugstores, health and wellness services, and mail and central specialty pharmacy services. Meanwhile, the Retail Pharmacy International segment consists of pharmacy-led health and beauty retail enterprises.

As of today, Reliance Industries is in discussions with multiple global banks. This would be to finance up to $8 billion for its proposed leveraged takeover of Walgreens’ worldwide Boots drugstore chain. Earlier this month, a consortium led by Apollo Global Management and Reliance made a binding offer for Boots valued at more than $6.1 billion. With that, the Walgreens Boots Alliance board of directors is expected to meet in the coming days to discuss the potential agreement with the consortium. Following this, the Reliance board of directors will then meet to approve the proposed takeover.

As a whole, it seems like Walgreens is focusing on streamlining its operations now. This would come at a strategic time as the company looks to diversify beyond pandemic-related services. As such, would you consider keeping an eye on WBA stock ahead of Walgreens’ latest earnings call later this week?

WBA stock chart
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

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Novartis AG

Novartis is a multinational pharmaceutical corporation that reimagines medicine to improve people’s lives. As a leading health care company, it uses innovative science and digital technologies to help create transformative treatments in many areas of great medical need. For a sense of scale, its products have reached nearly 800 million people globally and it has over 100,000 employees.

Today, the company announced that the European Commission (EC) has approved Cosentyx. It can be used to treat juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) categories of enthesitis-related arthritis (ERA). Safety in these pediatric populations was consistent with the known safety profile across both approved adult and pediatric indications. “The approval of Cosentyx is very positive news for children affected by JPsA and ERA across Europe. We are now able to offer a new therapeutic target, which was not on the market for this disease in children and also offers a lower frequency of administration. Cosentyx adds to the body of other approved treatments that may provide children and adolescent patients, with the opportunity to participate in all daily activities, and even sports,” said Ivan Foeldvari, M.D., Hamburg Centre for Pediatric Rheumatology, Germany.

Since its initial approval in 2015, Cosentyx has a proven sustained efficacy profile across several systemic inflammatory conditions and has been used to treat more than 700,000 patients worldwide. Also, Novartis announced last week that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has adopted a positive opinion and recommended granting marketing authorization for Scemblix® (asciminib) for the treatment of adult patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia in chronic phase (Ph+ CML-CP). If approved, Scemblix will be the first CML treatment in Europe. Given all of this, is NVS stock a buy?

NVS stock chart
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

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