Own biotech shares? These were the best performers during October

Here are three of the ASX biotech sector’s standouts last month.

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ASX biotech shares posted a month of solid gains in October, outpacing the wider market as a whole.

For instance, the S&P/ASX 300 Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology Index (ASPBKD) climbed around 6% after a sharp decline to start the month, indicating strengths in the broad sector.

Within this group lies a substratum of winners that we cover here in greater detail.

Here are three of the top performing ASX biotech shares for the month of October.

Telix Pharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX: TLX)

Oncology company Telix Pharmaceuticals climbed 15% across the month of September, surpassing many of its ASX biotech colleagues.

Telix shares gained momentum after the company presented peer-reviewed results from a Phase I/II study on its TLX101 drug candidate at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting in the US.

According to Telix, its TLX101 compound is an “investigational therapeutic radiopharmaceutical being developed to treat glioblastoma (brain cancer)”.

The data was “delivered as a late breaking oral presentation” at the meeting, and readouts confirmed the study met its primary objective. That was to demonstrate safety and tolerability of the TLX101 candidate.

Aside from this, Telix also released its quarterly activities report for the three months ended 30 September 2021 last month.

In it, Telix showed it had enough cash to fund the commercial launch of its Illuccix label and to complete another phase 3 study known as ZIRCON, without having to raise more capital.

Telix shares gained 94 cents in the last weeks of October after these updates.

CSL Limited (ASX: CSL)

After a choppy year to date, shares in global biopharmaceutical and biotechnology giant CSL climbed over 6% or $17.71 per share across the month of October.

Shareholders weren’t immune to volatility however – the CSL share price came off a 6-month high of $312.99 to start the month and sunk to a low of $286.19, before regaining steam once again.

Whilst there was no price-sensitive information out of CSL’s camp in October, the opinion of some brokers appear to support its share price gains last month.

For instance, analysts at leading investment banking firm Morgans are bullish on CSL shares.

Morgans acknowledges that whilst FY22 will continue to present headwinds in CSL’s plasma collection, beyond this, the outlook appears positive. It also likes the company as a ‘core’ portfolio holding.

It has a $325 price target on CSL’s share price, implying an upside potential of almost 6% from the time of writing.

Not all brokers agree through – Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan recently retained their neutral/hold ratings on CSL shares respectively in recent updates.

Creso Pharma Ltd (ASX: CPH)

A series of market updates enticed investors to pile into cannabis-based biotech company Creso Pharma last month, sending its share price northwards again after a disappointing end to September.

After trading flat most of the month, shares in the ASX biotech company gained over 18% in the final days of October, bouncing off a low of 10 cents just a few weeks prior.

Creso reported it had purchased Canadian life sciences company ImpACTIVE on 25 October, on a valuation of $217,000, thereby expanding its footprint in North America.

A day later, the company released a ‘bonus issue prospectus’ relating to a series of bonus options to its shareholders.

The options are to “reward shareholders for supporting the company” as it were, however, are also a potential source of funding if exercised in the future.

Creso will receive 25 cents for every option exercised, which could mean they receive up to $99.9 million in this scenario.

In addition, the options can be bought and sold on any ASX exchange that allows the trading of derivative products.

The company also released its quarterly actives report to finish the month, generating a 92% year on year gain in revenue and saw growth across all its operating segments.

This sent Creso Pharma shares flying as we exited October, securing a tasty gain for investors.

These three ASX biotech shares were amongst the best performing names in October, although there were winners and losers across the board when zooming out across the sector.

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The author Zach Bristow has no positions in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended CSL Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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