Penny stocks remain a hot topic in April. Despite the overall trend in small-cap stocks recently, the broader markets have told a different story. Both the S&P and Dow topped record highs in April thanks to underpinnings of bullish reopening sentiment. While volume has been a bit lighter, it hasn’t stopped the momentum from pushing stocks higher.
So, where does this leave traders? If you look at where the action is, there’s a good mix of tech and healthcare bulls piling into sector stocks. The rotation into value stocks that we saw a few weeks ago seems to have refocused on growth once again. News this morning surrounding Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE: JNJ) vaccine and a plan to pause it has caused a bit of concern in the stock market today. However, will it lead to an all-out sell-off?
That’s something we’ll have to see as the day goes on. Needless to say, in looking at the healthcare sector as a whole using benchmark ETFs like the SBI Healthcare ETF (NYSE: XLV), we can see a positive trend. In fact, since the early sell-off in March, the XLV ETF has managed to bounce back more than 7% following Monday’s $118.31 high.
With other vaccines in distribution, hopes are still high that the economy can begin reopening faster. The bullishness in the health space also has lead analysts to grow a bit more bullish on a few companies. In this article, we’ll go over a few of them, and then you can decide if these are the best penny stocks to watch heading into the second half of April.Biotech Penny Stocks To Watch In April
- GT Biopharma Inc. (NASDAQ: GTBP)
- Rigel Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: RIGL)
- vTv Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: VTVT)
GT Biopharma is a former penny stock at this point but a company we’ve followed for months. It specializes in immune treatments utilizing its novel TriKE platform. This type of therapy aims to increase the number of NK cells within the tumor’s own microenvironment to beef up tumor cell killing activity.
Right now, the company has several TriKE candidates in various stages with its lead treatment, GTB-3550 TriKE™, going through a first-in-human Phase I/II clinical trial. The target is treating high-risk myelodysplastic syndromes and refractory/relapsed acute myeloid leukemia. Some of the key highlights from a recent trial update included up to 63.7% reduction in bone marrow blast levels resulting in clinical benefit. Furthermore, the data showed that GTB-3550 was able to actually restore a patient’s endogenous NK cell function, proliferation, and immune surveillance.
With promising data already being seen early on, analysts have begun following the company. This year, Roth Capital started coverage on GT Biopharma, giving it a Buy rating and a price target of $25. This week, analysts at B. Riley followed suit and initiated coverage with their own Buy rating. B. Riley also issued a price target of $21.
Given that GT Biopharma has other treatment candidates, positive early trial data, and 2 bullish analysts with recent targets over $20, will GTBP be one of the penny stocks to watch before May?Rigel Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: RIGL)
Another one of the biotechnology penny stocks to watch right now is Rigel Pharmaceuticals. While new analysts haven’t jumped on the company this week, Rigel has a different type of catalyst turning heads in the stock market right now.
The company announced positive topline data from its fostamatinib treatment. The data showed that the treatment met its primary endpoint of safety in its Phase 2 clinical trial in hospitalized patients with COVID-19. According to the company, there were four intubated patients in the trial on mechanical ventilation. Two patients were randomized to each treatment group. Both patients in the fostamatinib group improved within 7 days and came off the ventilator. Unfortunately, both patients in the placebo group deceased.
Based on these data, Rigel said it plans to discuss the potential for emergency use authorization (EUA) with the FDA of fostamatinib as a treatment for hospitalized patients with COVID-19. The treatment is already marketed in the U.S. as TAVALISSE® tablets and is approved in the U.S., Europe, and Canada to treat adult chronic immune thrombocytopenia.
Raul Rodriguez, president and CEO of Rigel, explained, “These results are an important addition to the extensive accumulation of data evaluating fostamatinib in COVID-19, which also include the ongoing Phase 2 study with Imperial College London and our own Phase 3 clinical trial being conducted in the U.S. and Latin America.”
As far as analysts are concerned, the most recent rating came from H.C. Wainwright. The firm has a Buy rating on the penny stock and recently boosted its price target to $11.vTv Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: VTVT)
Similar to Rigel, vTv had a news catalyst propelling the stock on Tuesday. The company announced receipt of an FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation for its TTP399 diabetes treatment. In particular, TTP399 is being designed for the treatment of type 1 diabetes and is an oral, once-daily glucokinase activator.
This Breakthrough designation was based on the FDA’s determination that early clinical evidence showed that an investigational therapy might offer an improvement on 1 or more significant endpoints related to other available therapies.
Steve Holcombe, chief executive officer of vTv, said, “Hypoglycemia remains a leading cause of morbidity and potential mortality in the treatment of type 1 diabetes. Patient and prescriber fear of hypoglycemia often precludes tight glycemic control, and this FDA designation highlights the potential of TTP399 to address this serious unmet medical need. We look forward to working with the FDA as we advance the development of TTP399, and in particular as we begin pivotal trials later this year.”
- Making a List of Reopening Penny Stocks To Buy This Week? 4 You Might Want to Consider
- 3 Penny Stocks to Buy for Under $2 But Are They Worth It?
There haven’t been any revised rating updates in 2021 for vTv. However, H.C. Wainwright and Northland Securities are among the firms that have weighed in on the company within the last year. Both have a Buy on the stock, and Northland previously issued a price target of $8. Given the recent progress, will VTVT be on the list of penny stocks to watch in April?