Biotech stocks are having a great day today–iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) has climbed 2.5% to $276.92–leading some to suggest that 2017 could be better for investors than 2016 was. Not Baird’s Brian Skorney and Michael Ulz, who “don’t think 2017 will be worse than 2016″ but “aren’t quite sure it will be much better.” They explain why:
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Short story is, growth products are slowing and large net price increases are appearing increasingly unsustainable, even if the government doesn’t intervene. The innovation cycle appears to be in a waning period and, so far, large-caps with boatloads of cash seem to be hesitant to act. 2017 should have some excitement. We may finally see a successful registrational study in Alzheimer’s disease (Axovant Sciences’ (AXON) intepirdine or Merck’s (MRK) verubecestat), CAR T will finally get to plead its case, and we may find out once and for all if those ‘transformational’ PCSK9s are just that…
A steadily building pharma cash war chest is a big offsetting tailwind. As Princess Leia would say, “Help me M&A, you’re my only hope.”
Skorney’s namesVertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX),Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT), and Curis (CRIS) his top biotech picks for 2017, while Ulz chosesBioMarin Pharmaceutical (BMRN) andParatek Pharmaceuticals (PRTK).