The 2020 global pandemic hurt many businesses across various industries. Many companies operating in travel and tourism-related, arts and entertainment, restaurant, and accommodation sectors suffered the most. Some of the operations might not return to pre-corona levels and eventually shut down.
Meanwhile, the health and wellness industry is evolving rapidly, precipitated mainly by COVID-19. New treatment drugs, world-class research, product diversity, and supply-chain advancements are becoming increasingly important. On the TSX, two stocks are flying under the radar. Their growth potentials should be tremendous in 2021, barring hitches in their respective programs or business strategies.
Critical treatment for chronic ailments
Bellus Health (TSX:BLU)(NASDAQ:BLU) is a $397.17 million clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company from Laval, Canada. It develops therapeutics for the treatment of chronic cough, chronic pruritus, and other hypersensitization disorders. The company’s lead drug candidate, BLU-5937, is now in phase two clinical trial.
The Phase 2 BLUEPRINT trial is under evaluation for the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of BLU-5937. About 128 adults with moderate to severe chronic pruritus associated with mild to moderate atopic dermatitis are the patients. Bellus expects the top-line results in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Bellus Health President and CEO Roberto Bellini anticipate a transformative year ahead following the significant progress with the clinical development of BLU-5937 over the past 12 months. Management believes its lead drug candidate has the potential to treat a wide range of hypersensitization-related conditions.
The company acquired all remaining BLU-5937 and related P2X3 antagonists intellectual property rights from adMare BioInnovations’ NEOMED Institute. As of March 2020, BELLUS Health is the 100% owner of the rights to BLU-5937 and related P2X3 antagonists. There are no future payments due. For the full-year 2020, Bellus Health’s net loss amounted to $31.75 million, typical for biotech firms.
Market analysts, however, are bullish on the healthcare stock. They forecast the price to appreciate $5.07 to $9.52, or 88% in the next 12 months. The gain could be 100%, depending on the results of BLU-5937’s phase two trial.
Transforming the cannabis ecosystem
Neptune Wellness Solutions (TSX:NEPT)(NASDAQ:NEPT) is a $330.98 million integrated health and wellness company is also from Laval, Canada. The company anticipates a dramatic shift in consumer adoption and preference for CBD, hemp and health and wellness products.
Management anticipates a dramatic shift in consumer adoption and preference for CBD, hemp, and health and wellness products. Its biopharmaceutical background and extraction expertise could serve as the foundation to transform the cannabis ecosystem and uncover new uses for the plant.
Currently, Neptune builds a portfolio of lifestyle brands and consumer packaged goods products led by the Neptune Wellness and Forest Remedies brands. It offers turnkey product development and supply chain solutions to businesses and governments. The customers could be in various health and wellness verticals, such as legal cannabis and hemp, nutraceuticals, and white label consumer packaged goods.
Neptune also provides extraction and purification services from cannabis and hemp biomass and raw material sourcing, among others. Market analysts forecast the stock to climb 100% from $2 to $4 per share in the next 12 months.
Neptune Wellness belongs to the TSX Top 30 list (rank no. 11) owing to its 245% return over the last three years. Bellus Health’s BLU-5937 may also have broad applicability across other afferent hypersensitization-related disorders. The clinical-stage biotech could further develop a pipeline of therapeutics. Exponential growth is likely for the two stocks.
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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.
Fool contributor Christopher Liew has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.