Perhaps the biggest health-related challenge facing the United States is the opioids epidemic. Drugs such as heroin, as well as prescription drugs hydrocodone and oxycodone, cause an estimated 3 deaths an hour. The Obama administration is now making anti-addiction drugs more accessible to doctors, and two biotech companies are standing at the frontline to benefit from these initiatives BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. (NASDAQ:BDSI) and Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTNP).
BDSI seeks to benefit from Bunavail, a patch placed inside the mouth which releases small amounts of Buprenorphine to help patients safely wean off their opiod dependence. Due to its much lower likelihood of abuse in comparison to similar drugs, the state of Tennessee has already signed for Medicaid to use it as the first choice of treatment. The change is also expected to save the state over $14 million dollars annually. The stock is already up 20% in just 2 days – a trend which is likely to continue. Furthermore, financial accountability engine TipRanks which tracks the transactions of insiders reveals that over 10 different insiders purchased stock over the past 15 days. The companies low market cap of $180 million, plus low share price of $3.35, will likely send the shares soaring over the next several weeks.
Another stock which could skyrocket is TTNP, which uses a subdermal implant to release a constant stream of Buprenorphine into bloodstream over 6 months. The FDA Advisory Committee already gave a green light for approval earlier this year, and while this is not binding for the FDA, they rarely contradict the committee’s decision. The company will receive a $15 million milestone payment if and when the FDA approves Buprenorphine, and tiered royalties thereafter.
The market has huge potential for growth. Currently doctors can only prescribe the medication to 30 patients per year after they receive certification to prescribe Buprenorphine, a limit which could soon be raised to 250. This is due to the fact that the medication can easily be abused, but if the two above players cause a meaningful impact, it could be a game changer.