By now investors will have come to terms with the fact that in 2014 the gains from the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) were nothing short of lacklustre.
Despite the flat result and the less-than-rosy economic outlook for 2015 there are always ‘gems’ to be found on the stock market.
In 2014 one of those ‘gems’ was biotechnology and medical device manufacturer Sirtex Medical Limited (ASX: SRX). Sirtex has developed an impressive product for treating liver cancer and there is hope that its technology could have wider applications for fighting cancers other than liver cancer. In calendar year 2014 the group’s impressive sales and profit growth translated into enormous share price appreciation for shareholders with the stock’s price gaining almost 150%.
The biotech space is one industry that has a low correlation with the overall economy given the potential for a company to develop a blockbuster therapy which can experience rapid growth even when faced with economic headwinds.
If you’re looking to add some biotech exposure to your portfolio in 2015 then the following two stocks which came in for special mention in a recent Australian Financial Review article ‘Biotech stocks to watch in 2015’ could be worth considering.
Neuren Pharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX: NEU)
Having gained close to 50% in the last year, Neuren currently trades at 15.5 cents and with a market capitalisation of approximately $250 million. Neuren is hoping to develop a drug to treat Rett syndrome – a disease for which there is currently no cure.
Impedimed Limited (ASX: IPD)
The share price of Impedimed rocketed even harder than Sirtex over the past 12 months, producing gains of around 270%. These gains mean the stock now trades at 88.5 cents and with a market capitalisation of $260 million. Despite these gains, some investors are betting that there is more in store for the medical device maker who is about to launch a product aimed at detecting signs of lymphoedema.
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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.