I get it; certain penny stocks are seeing some pressure. However, with as many that are under fire, there are plenty of others that have weathered the latest market volatility like pros. What’s been the differences? Well, ignoring the hype factor of NFT stocks, most names that have either upheld recent trading channels or even made new highs has a lot to do with company-specific catalysts. Things like news, filings, and even analyst ratings have justified bullishness for plenty of the penny stocks holding the line right now.
What’s more, with the way broader markets are taking it on the chin lately, some of the top names to know are in the “stocks under $5” category. So does this mean you should buy all of the penny stocks you can? Look, that choice is up to you. I will say that picking and choosing particular names has played out well depending on which penny stocks are on your list.Penny Stocks to Watch Right Now
- GT Biopharma Inc. (NASDAQ: GTBP)
- Novan Inc. (NASDAQ: NOVN)
- aTyr Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ: LIFE)
- Aptose Biosciences Inc. (NASDAQ: APTO)
Specialty oncology treatments have certainly increased in popularity since T-cells were first discovered as a treatment option. Though this type of therapy is expensive, it has opened doors to new ways of treating immune diseases. GT Biopharma is working on designing a “better mousetrap,” so to speak. Its treatment platform is based on its TriKE™ technology, aiming to increase the number of natural killer cells within a tumor’s microenvironment to stimulate tumor cell killing activity.
Over the last several months, GT Biopharma has made significant progress in several indications. Starting with its lead treatment, GTB-3550, the company’s first TriKE™ candidate, is in development for treating acute myeloid leukemia (AML), myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), and other types of CD33+ hematopoietic malignancies. This treatment is currently in Phase I/II clinical trials. This month, the company added the University of Wisconsin-Madison Carbone Cancer Center as another site for its ongoing Phase 1/2 trials.
As of now, the company’s updated interim results in the trial show 9 patients have been enrolled. According to the company, early data showed GTB-3550 therapy demonstrated “significant bone marrow blast level reductions” in AML and MDS patients without the need for expensive progenitor-derived or autologous/allogeneic cell therapies.
On top of GTB-3550, its ROR1 TriKE for prostate cancer showed positive preclinical results as well. Based on that, management commented that it would evaluate additional IND-enabling preclinical studies. The goal would be transitioning to a Phase I/II clinical trial.Novan Inc.
This clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company is one that we’ve covered numerous times in the past few months. It is currently leveraging its unique, nitric-oxide-based Nitricil platform. Nitricil allows for the generation of what is known as New Chemical Entities or NCEs. Right now, its primary focus is on using this for the treatment of dermatology and men’s/women’s health.
Also, Novan has moved into areas such as infectious diseases and GI disorders. Its lead product candidate is SB206. This is a topical gel that is in use in the treatment of molluscum contagiosum. This treatment is in a B-SIMPLE4 Phase 3 study.
Earlier in March, Novan announced that it had completed the enrollment in this study. This is a big first step and means that the trial could be underway. Also, the company reported its full-year 2020 operational and financial results. In the results, Novan brought in $4.9 million in revenue. While it did bring in a net loss of $0.30 per share or $29.3 million, this is due to the extensive funding needed to conduct trials. The company also ended the year with $35.9 million in cash and marketable securities.
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With this, we see that Novan’s loss situation is less concerning. The company announced that it should have the toppling results from the B-SIMPLE4 study by the second quarter of this year. And because there are no currently available treatments for Molluscum, this could be a big deal. With all of this in mind, is NOVN a penny stock to watch?aTyr Pharma Inc.
On March 23rd, aTyr Pharma announced its fourth quarter and full-year 2020 results. Let’s take a closer look at aTyr Pharma before we dive into these fiancials.
aTyr is a biotherapeutics company creating medicines that utilize novel biological pathways. This includes protein compositions, that are made from tRNA synthetase genes and more. Its lead compound right now is ATYR1923. This is a clinical-stage compound that could help to down-regulate immune engagement in those suffering from lung disorders.
In its fourth-quarter results, aTyr Pharma announced that it completed enrollment in a clinical trial for ATYR1923 in those with pulmonary sarcoidosis. More of note is that a trial showed favorable safety and clinical signs on the use of ATYR1923 in Covid-19 patients with severe respiratory implications.
Sanjay Shukla, M.D., CEO of aTyr, stated that “amidst the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 was a highly productive year for aTyr that included significant clinical, research and discovery advancements that we expect to yield value for the company throughout 2021.”
In the trial concerning Covid, ATYR1923 showed a trend of improvement in over 80% of biomarkers compared to a placebo group. Additionally, it received an upfront payment of $10 million from an agreement to commercialize ATYR1923 for ILD in Japan. In 2020, aTyr brought in roughly $10.5 million in revenue. With $31.7 million in cash on hand, aTyr looks like it could have a financially advantageous position right now. Given that it has so much in the works, LIFE stock could be worth watching.Aptose Biosciences Inc.
With an after-hours rally on Tuesday, APTO is another penny stock on our radar right now. The big gain presumably comes from the announcement of its fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 results. In terms of financials, Aptose posted a net loss of $0.17 per share or $14.7 million. Despite this, it managed to end the year with more than $122 million in cash. The company currently has three ongoing clinical trials.
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CEO William Rice, Ph.D., stated that “during 2020, Aptose executed on our three clinical trials which are now all underway: two studies with our cluster selective kinase inhibitor luxeptinib (CG-806) and one with our MYC receptor APTO-253. Dose escalation continues in each of these trials, and we and our investigators are encouraged by indicators of luxeptinib’s anti-cancer activity and safety profile.”
The company also announced the resignation of current EVP and CFO Gregory Chow earlier in the day. Chow will retain his duties via a consulting agreement until Aptose can find a replacement. Its large pipeline of personalized therapies has indications across the spectrum of the oncology field. Because it is currently in three varied studies, Aptose is at work to find the next best pharmaceutical compound for specialized cancer treatments. Whether this news makes APTO worth watching is up to you.