In 2022, the biotech industry faced a challenging year due to profit-taking, clinical setbacks, stricter FDA regulations, geopolitical unrest, rising interest rates, and risk aversion. The SPDR S&P Biotech ETF plummeted by 53%, which led to a mass exodus of capital from the biotech space, and the once-sizzling IPO market in biotech has suddenly gone ice-cold. However, despite these unfavorable macroeconomic conditions, there are several good reasons to think that the industry can shake off this turmoil and return to form in 2023.
Altimmune, (NASDAQ: ALT) Karuna Therapeutics, and Viking Therapeutics are three growth-oriented biotech equities with attractive risk-to-reward ratios heading into 2023. Altimmune is a clinical-stage biotech that is poised to benefit from the sudden commercial opportunity in obesity, with the number of drugs in phase 2 or 3 development for obesity more than doubling this year. Altimmune is slated to release the 24-week interim analysis from pemvidutide’s ongoing mid-stage obesity trial in Q1 of 2023.
Karuna Therapeutics (NASDAQ: KRTX) is a top player in the neuroscience renaissance, with its lead product candidate KarXT (xanomeline-trospium) expected to hit $1.7 billion in sales by 2028 if approved for the high dollar indication of adults with schizophrenia. Karuna is gearing up to submit the drug for regulatory review with the FDA in mid-2023.
Viking Therapeutics (NASDAQ: VKTX) is a small-cap biotech focusing on metabolic and endocrine disorders, with its oral nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) candidate VK2809 currently in a mid-stage trial for patients with biopsy-confirmed NASH. A successful readout in this high-value indication could spark a lucrative licensing deal or perhaps a buyout. The top line readout for VK2809 in biopsy-confirmed NASH is expected to be released sometime during the first half of 2023.