INN takes a closer look at the top life science companies on the TSXV

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If you’re looking to invest in stocks, the TSX Venture 50 is always a good place to start.

With that in mind, every year the TSXV releases a list of companies it considers its top 50. Companies are chosen based on three equally weighted criteria: market cap growth, share price appreciation and trading volume.

That said, biotech and pharmaceutical companies weren’t as prominent on this year’s list. Instead, here the Investing News Network highlights the impact medical cannabis companies had in entering this space.

Here’s a closer look at those companies.

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Aphria (TSXV:APH)

Aphria is a major player in the medical marijuana sector throughout Canada. Their products include various types of cannabis, greenhouse grown, according to Health Canada’s guidelines.

In late April 2017, the company raised $100 million in funds to expand their production–$75 million of which is a bought deal financing, while the remainder is a debt financing over a five-year loan. According to the press release, 50 percent of the proceeds are expected to go towards the unfunded portion of Part IV Expansion, while the balance will go towards the working capital needed to support Aphria once the Part IV expansion is done.

Emerald Health Therapeutics (TSXV:EMH)

Licensed under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR), Emerald Health Therapeutics cultivates medical marijuana in addition to selling a variety of dried cannabis and oils. The company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Emerald Health Botanicals is a licensed producer of medical marijuana in Canada.

In mid-April 2017, the company expanded a previously announced bought deal financing from Eight Capital to $24.4 million.

OrganiGram (TSXV:OGI)

OrganiGram came onto the scene in 2013 as an organic medical cannabis  company. Now, it is in the middle of a number of controversies. Following a recall for products sold in 2016, the company is preparing to defend itself in a lawsuit over the discovery of pesticides in their crops.

That said, in early April 2017, the company announced it had entered into a letter of intent to acquire Trauma Healing Centers.  According to the press release, the two companies have worked together over the last two years in some capacity, and look forward to growing in the fast-paced Canadian cannabis sector.

Ceapro (TSXV:CZO)

Ceapro is a biotechnology company that provides “green” ingredients to manufacturers of personal care products, nutraceuticals, and developers of therapeutics. The company is developing proprietary extraction technology and its applications to the production of extracts from oats and other renewable plant resources.

In early April, the company released its 2016 financial results, highlighting total sales of $13,674,000, compared to $10,667,000 in 2015, representing a 28.2 percent increase over the year.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_LifeScience for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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**This article is updated each year. Please scroll to the top for the most recent information.**

The release of the TSX Venture Exchange’s TSX Venture 50 list is always exciting. Put out annually, it ranks the exchange’s strongest performers across five sectors: cleantech and life science, diversified industries, mining, oil and gas and technology

Companies are chosen based on three equally weighted criteria: market cap growth, share price appreciation and trading volume. On average, the companies on this year’s list delivered a return of 72 percent in 2015.

For investors interested in the life science space, the TSX Venture 50 list may be a good place to start. This year’s list cleantech and life science category includes five life science companies, three medical marijuana companies and two cleantech companies. Here’s a brief look at the five life science companies that made the list, and an overview of how they performed in 2015.

1. VANC Pharmaceuticals (TSXV:NPH)

VANC Pharmaceuticals has a mandate that includes providing Canadians with affordable generic pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter healthcare products. Currently, the company has a several over-the-counter products, including Ferroheme, a bioidentical hemoglobin iron protein complex that helps with iron deficiency and anemia, and Pedia-safe, a polyvitamin drop for infants and children.

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Last year, VANC’s trading volume was 241,384,075. Meanwhile, its share price rose 119 percent during 2015, while its market cap grew 191 percent.

2. Tribute Pharmaceuticals Canada

In December 2015, Tribute Pharmaceuticals Canada and POZEN announced plans to merge and form Aralez Pharmaceuticals (TSX:ARZ,NASDAQ:ARLZ). The merger was completed at the beginning of February, and Aralez began trading later that month. The combined company is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on cardiovascular issues, pain and other specialty areas.

Though Tribute is no longer trading, it nevertheless made this year’s TSX Venture 50 list, recording a 176-percent change in market cap in 2015. The company also saw its share price increase by 129 percent and had a 2015 trading volume of 140,738,060.

3. Medicure (TSXV:MPH)

Also a specialty pharmaceutical company, Medicure is focused on the development and commercialization of therapeutics for the US hospital market. In particular, the company has honed in on acute cardiovascular care, which it serves with AGGRASTAT. AGGRASTAT has been shown to reduce the rate of thrombotic cardiovascular events in patients with non-ST elevation acute coronary syndrome.

In 2015, Medicure saw its market cap increase by 155 percent. Meanwhile, its trading volume was on the lower side, at 8,038,156, and its share price was up 116 percent for the year.

4. bioMmune Technologies (TSXV:IMU)

bioMmune Technologies is engaged in harnessing the body’s immune system to fight cancer and autoimmune diseases. The company uses proprietary screening systems to identify novel compounds that are able to restore immune recognition and kill cancer cells. It also exploits the regulation of calcium channel activity, an important factor in controlling cells involved in the immune system. Finally, it is actively finding molecules that regulate CD74, a protein involved in the immune system’s ability to fight antigens.

Last year, bioMmune’s share price increased by 120 percent, while its share price rose 60 percent. Its trading volume came in at 8,444,124.

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5.  Sernova (TSXV:SVA)

Clinical-stage Sernova is working on developing products for the treatment of chronic disease; it uses therapeutic cells transplanted into an implanted medical device in order to replace missing hormones or proteins. The company’s Cell Pouch System offers a versatile treatment for a number of chronic diseases. The company is currently conducing a Phase I/II clinical study in subjects with diabetes.

In 2015, Sernova’s trading volume was 36,704,930. The company’s market cap was up 118 percent, while its share price rose 100 percent.

Securities Disclosure: I, Vivien Diniz, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article. 

Related reading: 

2016 TSX Venture 50: Best Mining Companies to Invest In?

2016 TSX Venture 50: Best Technology Stocks to Invest In?


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