China Analyst Identifies 10 Pharma Stocks with Highest Growth Potential

China Analyst, a financial information website focused on U.S.-listed Chinese stocks, recently released its list of the top 10 pharmaceutical stocks with the highest upside. The companies on the list were selected by calculating the difference between the stocks’ current price and Wall Street analysts’ average target price. While the companies on the list are not China-based, they cover a wide array of therapeutic areas, from biodefense to stem cell therapy. Below, we provide more information on the companies selected by China Analyst.

ARYx Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARYX) has the highest upside potential in its market: 984.7%, or an average target price of $4.25, according to China Analyst. ARYx develops drugs for large chronic-disease markets that are not adequately served by currently available therapies due to drug design or metabolic problems. ARYx takes drugs that are already on the market and searches for ways to improve their safety and efficacy. Its pipeline includes potential treatments for gastrointestinal disorders, atrial fibrillation, and psychiatric disorders.

DARA BioSciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:DARA) has the second highest upside potential, at 578.0%. The pharmaceutical company acquires promising therapeutic candidates and develops them through proof of concept in humans for subsequent sale or out-licensing to larger pharmaceutical companies. DARA is developing potential treatments for conditions including neuropathic pain, metabolic diseases, and dermatological conditions.

Prana Biotechnology Limited (ADR) (NASDAQ:PRAN) has an upside potential of 572.3%, the third highest of the group. Its pipeline addresses the role of metals in human diseases. According to the company’s website, scientific evidence suggests that many age-related conditions result from pathological interactions between certain metals and target proteins. The company has developed a library of chemical compounds that target these interactions. Prana Biotechnology is focused on developing treatments for neurological disorders and recently announced that it had selected a drug candidate to treat Parkinson’s disease.

XOMA Limited (NASDAQ:XOMAD) is developing therapeutic antibodies for cancer, diabetes, infectious diseases, and more. The company recently completed enrollment in a Phase 2a trial of its anti-inflammatory drug, XOMA 052, in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Columbia Laboratories Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRX) focuses on women’s healthcare products. The company’s lead product is Crinone, a progesterone gel that has been used worldwide. Columbia’s products utilize a novel bioadhesive drug delivery system that bonds to the cells of the surface where it is administered for controlled, sustained release of the drug.

EpiCept Corporation (NASDAQ:EPCT) is developing Ceplene for the maintenance of remission in patients with acute myeloid leukemia, the most common form of leukemia in adults. Ceplene is administered in conjunction with a low-dose form of the cancer drug interleukin. The drug is approved for use in the European Union and has been designated an orphan drug by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Epicept is developing two other cancer drugs as well as an analgesic cream for the relief of nerve pain due to diabetes, chemotherapy or shingles in adults.

PharmAthene, Inc. (AMEX:PIP) specializes in biodefense, with a pipeline designed to battle chemical and biological weapons such as anthrax and nerve agents. The company is positioning its anthrax vaccine, Valortim, as a potential alternative to the existing vaccine that is administered to military personnel and individuals who work in high-risk environments. The current vaccine, marketed by Emergent BioSolutions, produces redness and swelling at the injection site in about 20 percent of patients.

Marina Biotech, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA) is building a platform of products based on RNA interference (RNAi), in which RNA is used to switch off disease-causing genes. Marina’s initial therapeutic targets are bladder cancer and liver cancer. The first human use of Marina Biotech’s proprietary delivery technology recently occurred in a Phase I study of patients with advanced solid tumors.

CytRx Corporation (NASDAQ:CYTR) has a pipeline of drugs for various cancers, including prostate, brain and stomach cancers. The company recently initiated a Phase II proof-of-concept clinical trial for patients with advanced prostate cancer. CytRx also played a role in an intriguing Bloomberg BusinessWeek article last month featuring Ray Johnston, a Dallas basketball player turned musician who suffered from terminal blood cancer. When Johnston began taking CytRx’s Tamibarotene, he had 30 tumors. After four months, he was tumor-free.

StemCells, Inc. (NASDAQ:STEM) is engaged in the research, development, and commercialization of stem cell therapeutics and enabling technologies for use in stem cell-based research and drug discovery. The company’s pipeline includes potential treatments for nervous system, liver and pancreatic disorders.

Both EpiCept Corporation and CytRx are scheduled to present at the OneMedForum San Francisco 2011. For more information on the conference, visit

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