Biogen Idec, Electro-Optical Among “5 Stocks Approaching Greatness”

pillsmoneyInvestment website The Motley Fool has published a list of five stocks approaching greatness–and four of them are within the life sciences industry. Biogen Idec, Covidien, Depomed, and Electro-Optical Sciences were selected by the 130,000 members of the Fool’s CAPS investment community for their potential as great future buys. 

Biogen Idec of Cambridge, Mass., develops products in oncology, neurology, and immunology. They are known for producing Tysabri, a prescription medication to treat relapsing multiple sclerosis. Tysabri works to decrease the number of flare-ups and slow the onset of physical disability in MS patients. Biogen Idec and partner Genentech are seeking FDA approval for the cancer drug Rituxan to be used in conjunction with chemotherapy for patients with untreated or chronic lymphocytic leukemia, which accounts for one-third of all leukemias in the U.S. Rituxan is an antibody previously approved for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis.

Covidien is a leading global supplier of healthcare products, including surgical devices, pharmaceutical products, imaging solutions, and medical supplies. The Mansfield, Mass., company recently purchased VNUS Medical, developer of a minimally invasive treatment for varicose veins, for $440 million.

 Depomed, based in Menlo Park, Calif., specializes in pharmaceutical treatments for gastrointestinal disorders. Their lead product is Glumetza, a once-daily metformin drug for adults with Type 2 diabetes. Depomed has several medications in various stages of clinical testing, including treatments for menopause, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and Parkinson’s disease.

Electro-Optical Sciences recently announced a successful trial of its MelaFind System, a handheld imaging device to detect melanomas at an early stage. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. The National Cancer Institute estimates that 68,720 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year, with an estimated 8,650 deaths. The MelaFind device has the potential to catch skin cancer at a treatable early stage, before the disease can spread to other parts of the body.

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