Biotech stocks were up 8 percent in October. During the same month, the S&P 500 was up by nearly 2 percent. The iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (IBB) is set for its best month since the beginning of the year. In January, the IBB gained 13.75 percent.
Biogen, Amgen, and Celgene are the top biotech performers. Biogen had some help from an announcement that it was seeking regulatory approval for aducanumab, an Alzheimer’s drug. Biogen stock soared by nearly 30 percent last month, while Calgene and Amgen saw 8 percent gains.
Biogen, which has a market value of approximately $54 billion, had previously announced that it was discontinuing clinical studies of the emerging Alzheimer’s drug, stating that data didn’t support its objective. New data, however, showed that the drug had promising results in reducing the clinical decline in Alzheimer’s patients.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals also saw huge wins in October as its stock rose over 17 percent. The drug manufacturer received regulatory approval for a new cystic fibrosis drug several months early.
Meanwhile, Reata Pharma was up by more than 154 percent in October, its best month since its IPO in May 2016.
Other high performers were Aclaris, Achillion, and RA Pharmaceuticals.