15 Healthcare Stocks that Analysts Love in 2017

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There are more than 200 healthcare companies traded on public markets. Given the sheer number of pharmaceutical companies, medical research firms, hospital systems and other healthcare stocks, it can be hard to identify which healthcare companies are going to outperform the market.

Fortunately, Wall Street's brightest minds have already done this for us. Every year, analyst issue approximately 3,000 distinct recommendations for healthcare companies. Analysts don't always get their "buy" ratings right, but it's worth taking a hard look when several analysts from different brokerages and research firm are giving "strong buy" and "buy" ratings to the same healthcare stock.

This slide show lists the 15 healthcare companies that have the highest average analyst recommendations from Wall Street's equities research analysts over the last 12 months.

#1 - Sorrento Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SRNE)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 5 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $12.40 (427.7% Upside)

Sorrento Therapeutics logoSorrento Therapeutics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in the discovery, acquisition, development and commercialization of drug therapeutics. Its primary therapeutic focus is oncology, including the treatment of chronic cancer pain. It is also developing therapeutic products for other indications, including immunology and infectious diseases. Its products in the pipeline include Chimeric Antigen Receptor-T Cell (CAR-T) programs, resiniferatoxin (RTX), and biosimilar/biobetter antibodies clinical development programs. Its pipeline also includes preclinical fully human therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), including biosimilars/biobetters, fully human anti-PD-L1 and anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitors derived from its G-MAB library platform, antibody drug conjugates (ADCs), bispecific antibodies (BsAbs), as well as CAR-T and Chimeric Antigen Receptor Natural Killer (NK) cells (CAR. NK) for adoptive cellular immunotherapy.

#2 - Zealand Pharma A/S (NASDAQ:ZEAL)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $27.33 (105.5% Upside)

Zealand Pharma A/S logoZealand Pharma A/S, a biotech company, engages in the discovery, design, and development of novel peptide-based medicines in Denmark. The company markets Lixisenatide, a once-daily prandial GLP-1 peptide receptor agonist for the treatment of type 2 diabetes under the Adlyxin and Lyxumia names; and Soliqua 100/33/Suliqua, a combination of lixisenatide and insulin glargine, and a GLP-1 receptor agonist for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Its products under development include Glepaglutide, a novel GLP-2 analogue in Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of short bowel syndrome; Dasiglucagon, a ready-to-use hypo-pen in Phase II clinical trials to treat acute, severe hypoglycemia, as well as in Phase IIa clinical trials for pump-based diabetes management; Elsiglutide, a novel GLP-2 analogue in Phase II clinical trials to treat chemotherapy-induced diarrhea; and GLP1-GLU, a preclinical stage product for obesity/type 2 diabetes. The company has license agreements with Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GmbH; Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH; Helsinn Healthcare S.A.; and Protagonist Therapeutics, Inc. Zealand Pharma A/S was founded in 1997 and is based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

#3 - Aileron Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ALRN)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $19.33 (95.9% Upside)

Aileron Therapeutics logoAileron Therapeutics, Inc. is a United States-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on developing and commercializing a class of therapeutics called stapled peptides. It is also developing a pipeline of stapled peptide drugs across a range of therapeutic areas, including cancer, endocrine and metabolic diseases and inflammation. The Company is advancing its lead oncology program to deliver efficacy and safety in a spectrum of solid and hematological malignancies. Its lead product candidate, ALRN-6924, targets the tumor suppressor protein p53 for the treatment of a range of cancers. The Company is conducting an ongoing Phase I clinical trial of ALRN-6924 in adult patients with solid tumors or lymphomas expressing non-mutated or wild-type p53 that are refractory to or intolerant of standard therapy. ALRN-6924 may reactivate p53-mediated cell death by targeting both of the natural p53 suppressor proteins, Mouse double minute 2 homolog (MDM2) and MDMX.

#4 - TSO3 (TSE:TOS)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: C$4.50 (74.4% Upside)

TSO3 logoTSO3 Inc is a Canada-based company engaged in the sale, production, maintenance, research, development and licensing of sterilization processes, related consumable supplies and accessories for heat-sensitive medical devices. The Company designs products for sterile processing areas in the hospital environment. The Company's products are used in the sterilization departments of hospital and other medical facilities. It also provides services related to the maintenance of sterilization equipment and compatibility testing of medical devices with such processes. It has developed a sterilizer using a sterilization process based on ozone as the sterilizing agent. The Company's STERIZONE VP4 Sterilizer is a dual sterilant, low temperature sterilization system that utilizes vaporized hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and ozone (O3) as its sterilants. The STERIZONE VP4 terminally sterilizes multiple channels in a single device.

#5 - Clementia Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CMTA)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $27.00 (67.8% Upside)

Clementia Pharmaceuticals logoClementia Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in developing disease-modifying treatments for patients suffering from debilitating bone and other diseases with high unmet medical need. Its lead product candidate, palovarotene, is an oral small molecule that binds and activates retinoic acid receptor gamma (an RARg agonist), and has activity in preventing abnormal new bone formation as well as scar tissue formation (or fibrosis) in a variety of tissues in animal models. It is developing palovarotene for the treatment of Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP) and Multiple Osteochondroma (MO). Its programs focus on diseases involving tissue transformation via retinoic acid receptors (RARs). The Company also has an eye drop formulation of palovarotene that can potently increase tear production and decrease corneal damage.

#6 - Deciphera Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:DCPH)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 5 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $43.40 (161.4% Upside)

Deciphera Pharmaceuticals logoDeciphera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. The Company is developing drugs to improve the lives of cancer patients. Its drug candidate includes DCC-2618, DCC-3014 and Rebastinib. Its proprietary kinase switch control inhibitor platform, inhibit the activation of kinases. DCC-2618, an orally administered kinase switch control inhibitor, for the treatment of gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), advanced systemic mastocytosis (ASM), gliomas, including glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), and other solid tumors driven by pan-KIT or PDGFR alpha. DCC-3014 is an orally administered, potent and highly selective inhibitor of colony stimulating factor receptor 1 (CSF1R). Rebastinib is an orally administered, potent and selective inhibitor of the TIE2 immunokinase. Rebastinib binds potently into the switch pocket of TIE2, stabilizing the inhibitory switch and displacing the activation switch to block TIE2 signaling.

#7 - Allena Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALNA)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $24.67 (73.1% Upside)

Allena Pharmaceuticals logoAllena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on developing and commercializing non-systemic oral protein therapeutics to treat metabolic and orphan diseases, with a particular focus on nephrologic and urologic conditions. Its lead product candidate, ALLN-177, is in an ongoing Phase II clinical trial and is being developed for the chronic management of hyperoxaluria and kidney stones. ALLN-177 is an orally administered, recombinant oxalate-degrading enzyme. ALLN-177 targets oxalate in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract to reduce the burden of both dietary and endogenously produced oxalate. ALLN-177 has the potential to decrease the oxalate available systemically for deposition as calcium oxalate crystals or stones in the kidneys, as well as to reduce the incidence of calcium oxalate related complications. Its technological approach enables the design and development of oral protein therapies that remain in the GI tract.

#8 - Mersana Therapeutics (NASDAQ:MRSN)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $23.67 (39.3% Upside)

Mersana Therapeutics logoMersana Therapeutics, Inc. is a United States-based biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing a pipeline of antibody drug conjugates (ADCs). The Company focuses on advancing a pipeline of targeted oncology therapeutics leveraging its Fleximer immunoconjugate technology. The Fleximer platform allows it to design ADCs with specific properties and manage the drug's chances of attacking cancers. Its product candidates include XMT-1522 and XMT-1536. The ADC therapies treat cancer patients by engineering a drug conjugate with various anti-cancer agents and controlling when, where and how those agents are released. Dolaflexin is its Fleximer antibody drug conjugation platform, which pairs the Fleximer polymer with its linker chemistries to create ADC therapies. XMT-1522 is based on its Dolaflexin platform and has over 15 auristatin molecules per antibody. XMT-1522 is in Phase I clinical trial for various indications of cancers. XMT-1536 is in pre-clinical development.

#9 - Catalyst Biosciences (NASDAQ:CBIO)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 3 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $13.33 (57.8% Upside)

Catalyst Biosciences logoCatalyst Biosciences, Inc., formerly Targacept, Inc., is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on creating and developing medicines to address serious medical conditions. The Company focuses its product development efforts in the fields of hemostasis, including the treatment of hemophilia and surgical bleeding, and inflammation, including prevention of delayed graft function (DGF) in renal transplants and the treatment of dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD), a condition that can cause visual impairment or blindness. The Company's advanced program is a coagulation Factor VIIa variant, CB 813d, that has completed a Phase I clinical trial in severe hemophilia A and B patients. In addition to its lead Factor VIIa program, it has approximately two other coagulation factors, a Factor IX variant, CB 2679d/ISU 304, that is in advanced preclinical development, and a Factor Xa variant that has reached the advanced lead preclinical-stage of development.

#10 - OrthoPediatrics (NASDAQ:KIDS)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $23.67 (23.7% Upside)

OrthoPediatrics logoOrthoPediatrics Corp. is a United States-based medical device company. The Company designs, develops and commercializes orthopedic implants and instruments to meet the specialized needs of pediatric surgeons and their patients. It operates through the OrthoPediatrics segment, which designs, develops and markets implants and devices for children with orthopedic problems. Its products include RESPONSE Spinal Deformity System, PediNail Intramedullary Nail System, PediLoc Plating Systems, ACL Reconstruction System, Locking Cannulated Blade (LCB) plate system, Locking Proximal Femur (LPF) plate system, PediFlex Flexible Nailing System, PediFrag, PediLoc Extension Osteotomy Plate (PLEO), PediLoc Femur Locking Plate System, PediLoc Tibia Locking Plate System, PediPlates system and Spica Table. It markets over 20 surgical systems that serve approximately three categories within pediatric orthopedic market, including trauma and deformity, complex spine and anterior cruciate ligament reconstruct

#11 - NuCana (NASDAQ:NCNA)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $24.00 (115.6% Upside)

NuCana logoNuCana PLC is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on improving treatment outcomes for cancer patients by applying its phosphoramidate chemistry technology. The Company utilizes its ProTide technology to develop medicines to overcome cancer resistance mechanisms and generate much higher concentrations of anti-cancer metabolites in cancer cells. Its pipeline of products includes Acelarin, NUC-3373 and NUC-7738. Acelarin is a nucleotide analog and is a ProTide transformation of gemcitabine for the treatment of cancer. The Company is evaluating Acelarin in four clinical trials across several solid tumor indications. NUC-3373 is a ProTide transformation of the active anti-cancer metabolite of 5-fluorouracil for the treatment of a wide range of cancers. NUC-3373 is in a Phase I trial for the potential treatment of a wide range of solid tumor cancers. NUC-7738 is a ProTide transformation of cordycepin, a novel nucleoside analog.

#12 - OptiNose (NASDAQ:OPTN)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $29.00 (70.6% Upside)

OptiNose logoOptiNose, Inc. is a pharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on the development and commercialization of products for patients treated by ear, nose and throat, or ENT, and allergy specialists. The Company’s products candidates include XHANCE (Nasal Polyps), XHANCE (Chornic Sinusitis) OPN-300, OPN-021, and other. The Company’s lead product, XHANCE (fluticasone propionate) nasal spray, utilizes breath powered exhalation delivery system (EDS), to deliver a topically acting and potent anti-inflammatory corticosteroid for the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps. XHANCE has a differentiated clinical profile with the potential to become part of the standard of care for this disease because it is able to deliver medication to the primary site of inflammation.

#13 - Nightstar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NITE)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 4 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $24.75 (78.8% Upside)

Nightstar Therapeutics logoNightstar Therapeutics PLC, formerly Nightstar Therapeutics Limited, is a clinical-stage gene therapy company. The Company is focused on developing and commercializing novel one-time treatments for patients suffering from rare inherited retinal diseases that would otherwise progress to blindness. The Company is developing a pipeline of proprietary product candidates that are designed to substantially modify or halt the progression of inherited retinal diseases. The Company’s lead product candidate, NSR-REP1, for the treatment of choroideremia, or CHM, is entering Phase III clinical development. The Company is also conducting a Phase I/II clinical trial with its second product candidate, NSR-RPGR, for the treatment of X-linked retinitis pigmentosa, or XLRP. The Company’s third product candidate, NSR-BEST1, is in preclinical development for the treatment of Best vitelliform macular dystrophy, or Best disease.

#14 - Iovance Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ:IOVA)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 3.0
Ratings Breakdown: 10 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $15.31 (78.1% Upside)

Iovance Biotherapeutics logoIovance Biotherapeutics, Inc., formerly Lion Biotechnologies, Inc., is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on the development and commercialization of cancer immunotherapy products designed to harness the power of a patient's own immune system to eradicate cancer cells. The Company's lead program is an adoptive cell therapy utilizing tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, which are T cells derived from patients' tumors, for the treatment of metastatic melanoma. As of December 31, 2016, it had an on-going Phase II clinical trial of its lead product candidate, LN-144, TIL for the treatment of metastatic melanoma. The Company is developing LN-145 to treat cervical and head and neck cancers. It is collaborating with the National Cancer Institute to evaluate unmodified TIL in other solid tumor indications, such as ocular melanoma, bladder, breast and lung cancer. It is collaborating with the NCI to evaluate TIL in combination with the checkpoint inhibitor, Keytruda.

#15 - Align Technology (NASDAQ:ALGN)

Consensus Rating: Buy
Rating Score: 2.9
Ratings Breakdown: 10 Buy Ratings, 1 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $237.64 (1.4% Upside)

Align Technology logoAlign Technology, Inc. designs, manufactures and markets a system of clear aligner therapy, intra-oral scanners and computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) digital services used in dentistry, orthodontics and dental records storage. The Company operates through two segments: Clear Aligner segment and Scanner and Services (Scanner) segment. The Clear Aligner segment consists of its Invisalign System, which includes Invisalign Full, Teen and Assist (Comprehensive Products), Express/Lite (Non-Comprehensive Products) and Vivera Retainers, along with its training and ancillary products for treating malocclusion (Non-Case). The Scanner segment consists of intra-oral scanning systems and other services available with the intra-oral scanners that provide digital alternatives to the traditional cast models. The Scanner segment includes its iTero scanner and OrthoCAD services.







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