Ahead of 2023, many investors and company executives were hoping for a better year than 2022. As half the year has passed, we can conclude that the climate continues to be harsh on the Swedish life science lists. Only 60 stocks show a positive return, while approximately 150 are in the red. See below for the best and worst-performing life science stocks during the year’s first half.
The first half of 2023 is completed. Of the approximately 240 Swedish listed pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology, and medical technology companies, a clear majority show negative development so far this year. Only about 60 stocks show a positive performance since the beginning of the year.
Downturns in a harsh financing climate
The harsh financing climate from 2022 has persisted even in 2023. The companies at the top of the losers’ list have all raised capital during the year. The funding rounds have led to significant dilution and subsequent lower stock prices.
Investors’ risk appetite has been low, and most companies have struggled to generate interest in their financing rounds. The cost of guarantors has increased significantly, while the subscription rate from existing shareholders has been low in many cases.
In the April rights issue of Helsingborg-based Qlife Holding, 21.3 per cent was subscribed with preferential rights and 9.8 per cent without unit rights. However, the company was able to fill the issue to 100 per cent through guarantors. Thus, the company was able to raise SEK 57.7 million before expenses.
The acquired capital will primarily be used by the company for the continued launch of its testing platform, Egoo.Health. The platform enables testing for biomarkers and viruses, for example, in the comfort of one’s home or in environments outside of hospitals and laboratories. At mid-year, Qlife Holding had a market value of approximately 24 million SEK.
Top five life science stocks
Lund-based Ziccum has developed LaminarPace – a technology that enables new preparations of vaccines and biological drugs. Watch CEO Ann Gidner present the company during the BioStock Life Science Spring Summit here. Ziccum’s stock rose by 130 per cent during the first half of the year.
In the autumn of 2022, Lipidor could not demonstrate an equivalent effect to the market-leading treatment for psoriasis in the phase III study with candidate AKP02. Since then, the company has optimised the formulation of the candidate, which it intends to conduct a new phase III study with, in 2024. This has sparked renewed interest in the company, resulting in a 136 per cent increase in the stock price until the end of June.
Medical technology company Phase Holographic Imaging (PHI) has experienced a significant boost during the first half of the year. Behind the 146 per cent increase lies, among other factors, a focus on a new area, regenerative medicine. Their non-invasive instrument, HoloMonitor, for real-time analysis of cell cultures, appears to be particularly suitable for this purpose.
Proof of the interest in PHI was the Swiss company Altium becoming a major shareholder in the company, which was well received by the market. CEO Patrick Eschricht spoke to BioStock about the company’s activities this spring. Read the interview here.
Saniona is the only company in the top five that is traded on the main list of Nasdaq Stockholm. The company has made a comeback after a change in management and strategic realignment. Now focus lies on Saniona’s broad pipeline based on its ion channel platform. Read BioStock’s interview with CEO Thomas Feldthus from March 2023 here.
Saniona is also awaiting final approval for the obesity drug Tesofensine in Mexico. The timing of the announcement from the Mexican authorities is uncertain, but the market expects a decision to be made during the year.
At the top of the life science list for the first half of the year was Prolight Diagnostics, listed on NGM Nordic SME. The company develops point-of-care tests, which are near-patient tests with mobile instruments. Watch CEO Ulf Bladin present the company during the digital BioStock Life Science Spring Summit here.
In June, Prolight’s subsidiary Psyros Diagnostics achieved proof-of-performance for its high-sensitivity troponin heart attack test. This announcement boosted the stock, resulting in a 167 per cent increase until the mid-year point, with a market capitalisation of 146 million SEK.
The second half of the year has already begun, and by the end of September, we will be able to assess any changes in the half-year list below.
Top and bottom life science stocks during H1 2023
|1||Prolight Diagnostics||167%||Qlife Holding||-98%|
|3||Phase Holographic Imaging||146%||Amniotics||-94%|