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Top 3 Canadian Pharma Stocks of 2024

From established players to up-and-coming firms, Canada’s pharmaceutical landscape is diverse and dynamic.

Three months into 2024, market watchers are keeping a close eye on pharma companies vying for the next major innovation.

1. Cipher Pharmaceuticals (TSX:CPH)

Company Profile
Year-on-year gain: 161.29 percent; market cap: C$223.89 million; current share price: C$8.91

Cipher Pharmaceuticals is a specialty pharmaceutical company with a diverse portfolio of treatments, including a range of dermatology and acute hospital care products. The company has out-licensed some of its offerings as well.

In addition to its current portfolio, Cipher Pharmaceuticals has acquired the Canadian rights to two new dermatology treatments currently undergoing Phase III clinical trials: MOB-015 for the treatment of nail fungus, and CF-101 for the management of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. A Phase III COMFORT study of CF-101 has been completed, with a pivotal Phase III study due to start in early 2024; results are expected by 2026. MOB-015 trial results are expected in January 2025. The company is also conducting proof-of-concept studies on DTR-001, a topical treatment for removing tattoos.

On March 14, the company released its full-year 2023 results, showing a 2.5 percent increase in gross profit compared to the previous year and EBITDA of US$12 million, consistent with fiscal year 2022. Following the report’s release, the share price surged 13.60 percent to C$8.10.

In addition to trading on the TSX, Cipher began trading on the OTCQX Best Market under the symbol CPHRF on January 29.

2. Bausch Health Companies (TSX:BHC)

Company Profile

Year-on-year gain: 20.22 percent; market cap: C$4.34 billion; current share price: C$12.07

Bausch Health Companies, formerly Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, is one of the largest pharma companies in Canada. Its headquarters are in Laval, Quebéc, where the company has research and laboratory facilities equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and technology that play a crucial role in driving its research and development efforts.

Its range of offerings includes treatment options for gastrointestinal, neurological and dermatological conditions, as well as products for vision care and dentistry. In March, the company and its gastroenterology business, Salix Pharmaceuticals, announced that the two would be jointly supporting a Phase II study of Relistor, an opioid antagonist, in oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma. Bausch serves the Canadian and US markets, as well as a number of regions in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Asia Pacific region.

On April 3, the company announced that Uceris, an aerosol foam used to treat distal ulcerative colitis, would be available to patients in Ontario, Quebéc, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia through the provinces’ public drug plans. Its acne vulgaris treatment PrARAZLO recently became available to patients through the BC PharmaCare public drug plan. Bausch’s first quarter 2024 results are expected on May 2.

3. Biosyent Pharma (TSXV:RX)

Company Profile

Year-on-year gain: 11.91 percent; market cap: C$102.14 million; current share price: C$8.55

BioSyent Pharma is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on improving patients’ lives by licensing and acquiring innovative pharmaceutical products that are proven safe and effective with a track record of improving patient outcomes. Its subsidiary, BioSyent Pharma, offers a diverse range of healthcare products, including over-the-counter, behind-the-counter, and prescription options.

The annual Survey on OTC Counselling and Recommendations named FeraMAX, the company’s pediatric-friendly iron supplement, Canada’s best oral iron supplement for the ninth consecutive year on April 3. “We are honoured by the continued confidence of Canadian healthcare professionals in our FeraMAX® Pd products,” said CEO and President René Goehrum.

On April 15, the company extended its agreement with its European partner, allowing BioSyent Pharma to continue selling RepaGyn and Proktis-M in Canada until 2032.

Securities Disclosure: I, Meagen Seatter, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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