With the progress in scientific research and development, the pharma and biotech industry has seen newer technologies for developing more effective and safer drugs. The advent of computers has accelerated scientific progress by providing capabilities to read and alter the design of minute particles like cells or even more, the DNA.
The power to modify the basic building blocks of organisms like cells and DNA has led to the development of synthetic biology — the creation of man-made versions of natural biological things found in nature. Some companies that are involved in developing synthetic biology drug candidates include
Codexis ( CDXS Quick Quote CDXS - Free Report) , Precigen ( PGEN Quick Quote PGEN - Free Report) and Verve Therapeutics ( VERV Quick Quote VERV - Free Report) .
National Human Genome Research Institute, the field of science that deals with the engineering of organisms is called Synthetic Biology. Scientists redesign a particular organism, creating new abilities to solve problems in medicine, manufacturing and agriculture.
Examples of synthetic biology are available across industries. Redesigning of microorganisms to clear pollution, modification of rice to enrich it with nutrients or modifying a bacterium for treating cancers are all examples of synthetic biology. These modifications are done by altering an organism’s genome code.
In the biotech field, people tend to confuse synthetic biology with genome editing. Synthetic biology can be different from genome editing in the way the modifications are done. While scientists stitch DNAs of an organism and insert them in their subject organism to alter its properties in synthetic biology processes, genome editing includes smaller changes to the organism's own DNA.
Synthetic biology researchers developed the poliovirus from scratch using DNA altering technologies in 2002 and the first synthetic bacterial genome was completed in 2008. Although there are concerns related to the environmental impacts of introducing modified organisms into the ecosystem, like biological weapons and others, the field of synthetic biology has progressed well in the past decade. The field will continue to progress as it has the potential to accelerate the development of effective and safe therapeutics.
Here we discuss three stocks engaged in the field of scientific biology that investors must follow as they have the potential to generate wealth for them going forward. Each of these stocks carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see
. the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here Codexis
Codexis is engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of engineered enzymes that are used by its partners to develop effective drugs. The company also grants rights to its proprietary CodeEvolver protein engineering technology platform to global pharmaceutical companies for developing enzymes. Codexis has collaborations with popular pharma companies, including Novartis, granting them rights to CodeEvolver.
Codexis also develops biotherapeutic drug candidates targeting new opportunities. The company is developing drug candidates in collaboration with Nestle for treating PKU and with Takeda for treating Fabry Disease, Pompe Disease, and an undisclosed blood factor deficiency.
The company can develop new therapeutics as well as attract new collaboration agreements leveraging its technology platform. Successful development of new partnered products as well as new partnership agreements will drive Codexis’ stock in 2022.
Shares of Codexis have surged 53% so far this year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Codexis’ 2022 loss per share (EPS) has risen 3.9% over the past 30 days.
Precigen is a synthetic biology company focused on developing the next generation of gene and cell therapies targeting immuno-oncology, autoimmune disorders, and infectious diseases. The company is developing six pipeline candidates in early-stage clinical studies.
The candidates target different cancer indications including acute myeloid leukemia, ovarian cancer and human papillomavirus-positive, rare diseases like myelodysplastic syndromes and type I diabetes mellitus. The targeted indications represent significant opportunities. Positive clinical updates will be a key catalyst for Precigen’s stock in 2022.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Precigen’s 2022 loss per share has narrowed 1.7% over the past 30 days.
Verve Therapeutics is focused on developing single-course genetic therapeutics for treating cardiovascular diseases. The company has two preclinical programs targeting genes that control blood lipids like low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). VERV believes its therapies have the potential to provide benefits sustained throughout a patient’s lifetime.
Verve Therapeutics completed its initial primary offering (“IPO”) in June 2021. The company’s targeted indications represent significant opportunities. Updates related to the progress of the pipeline candidates to clinical-stage development will be a key factor driving Verve Therapeutics’ stock in 2022.
The stock has gained 29.5% since its IPO. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Verve Therapeutics’ 2022 loss per share has remained unchanged over the past 30 days.