The biotechnology industry includes companies that develop drugs and diagnostic technologies for the treatment of diseases and medical conditions. These products must go through a rigorous, costly, and time-consuming trials before potentially obtaining approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means that investors may wait for years before knowing whether a drug under development will pay off. The selection includes smaller start-up companies with recent traction as well as large, well-established corporations that aim to develop a range of drugs and technologies. Many biotech companies have shifted their focus entirely or added COVID-19 vaccine and treatments to their product pipeline. During the past year, biotech stocks, as represented by the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB), have posted a total return of 37.8% compared to the Russell 1000's total return of 46.9% as of March, 2021.1
All data below are as of March 9, 2021.
Here are the top nine biotech stocks with the best value, the fastest earnings growth, and the most momentum.
These are the biotech stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio. Because profits can be returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and buybacks, a low P/E ratio shows you’re paying less for each dollar of profit generated.
Best Value Biotech Stocks
Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing P/E Ratio
XBiotech Inc. ( XBIT) 19.36 0.6 1.2
Pharmaceuticals Inc.( CPRX) 3.70 0.4 5.5
Innoviva Inc. ( INVA) 11.63 1.2 5.8
These are the biotech stocks with the highest YOY earnings per share (EPS) growth for the most recent quarter. Rising earnings show that a company’s business is growing and generating more money that it can reinvest or return to shareholders.
Fastest-Growing Biotech Stocks
Price ($) Market Cap ($B) EPS Growth (%)
International Inc. ( BDSI) 4.10 0.4 2,570
Inc. ( NBIX) 91.0 18.6 922.9
Seagen Inc. ( SGEN) 150.56 27.3 542.9
These are the biotech stocks with the highest total return over the last 12 months.
Biotech Stocks with the Most Momentum
Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
Aclaris Therapeutics ( ACRS) 22.47 1.2 2,170
Ocugen Inc. ( OCGN) 8.78 1.7 2,120
Novavax Inc. ( NVAX) 169.90 12.6 1,600
YCharts. "YCharts." Accessed March 9, 2021.
Nasdaq.com. “XBiotech Candidate True Human™ COVID-19 Therapy Found to Target Highly Infectious Emerging Strain.” Accessed March 9, 2021.
Catalyst Pharmaceuticals Inc. “Catalyst Pharmaceuticals Announces Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2020 Financial Results and Provides Corporate Update." Accessed March 17, 2021.
Innoviva Inc. “Innoviva Reports Fourth Quarter 2020 Financial Results.” Accessed March 11, 2021.
BioDelivery Sciences Inc. “BioDelivery Sciences Reports Strong Q4 and Record Full-Year 2020 Results.” Accessed March 11, 2021.
Neurocrine Biosciences Inc. “Neurocrine Biosciences Reports Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2020 Financial Results.” Accessed March 11, 2021.
Seagen Inc. “Seagen Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 Financial Results.” Accessed March 11, 2021.
Aclaris Therapeutics Inc. “Aclaris Therapeutics Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 Financial Results and Provides a Corporate Update.” Accessed March 11, 2021.
The Indian Express. "Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin allowed to drop ‘clinical trial mode’ label." Accessed March 18, 2021.
Ocugen Inc. “Ocugen’s COVID-19 Vaccine Co-Development Partner, Bharat Biotech shares Phase 3 Interim Results of COVAXIN, Demonstrates Efficacy of 81%.” Accessed March 11, 2021.
The Wall Street Journal. “Novavax Nears Covid-19 Vaccine Game Changer—After Years of Failure.” Accessed March 11, 2021.