The Week Ahead In Biotech: Johnson & Johnson, Biogen Earnings, Neurology Conference And IPOs

Laboratory Test Tubes

Biotech stocks reversed course in the week ended April 16, with the sector rebounding along with the broader market. The week's news flow was fairly light. The American Association of Cancer Research's annual meeting provided a platform for oncology-focused biopharma companies to present data from their clinical programs.

A negative headline on COVID-19 vaccine, however, marred the week. The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced their recommendation to pause the use of Johnson & Johnson's JNJ COVID-19 vaccine following incidences of severe clots.

J&J's pain turned into  gains for other COVID-19 vaccine companies. Moderna, Inc. MRNA added about 20% during the week, with positive preclinical data on variant-specific COVID-19 vaccines and positive analyst actions adding strength to the rally.

Avenue Therapeutics, Inc. ATXI  shares spiked ahead of the PDUFA date for its pain drug. With the company announcing Tuesday it has not heard yet from the FDA and the review is continuing, the shares lost about 42% for the week from Monday's intra-day high of $7.54.

Here are the key catalysts for the unfolding week:

Conferences

American Academy of Neurology, or AAN, 2021 Annual Meeting (virtual): April 17-22
Bloom Burton & Co. Healthcare Investor Conference: April 20-21

AAN Meeting Presentations

Prothena Corporation plc PRTA: results from the Phase 1 study of PRX004 in ATTR amyloidosis, a rare disorder that occurs when there is a buildup of amyloid proteins in the body (Sunday, at 3-4:30 p.m.)

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ALNY: full 9-month results from the HELIOS-A Phase 3 study of vutrisiran, an investigational RNAi drug for treating polyneuropathy of hereditary ATTR amyloidosis, a genetic disorder affecting a protein called transthyretin, produced in the liver (Monday, 2 p.m.)

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