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Canadian Pharma Stocks: 5 Biggest Companies in 2024

The Canadian pharmaceutical market is the eighth largest in the world and accounts for 2.2 percent of the global prescription drug market. But what are the biggest Canadian pharma stocks?

Many successful Canadian drug companies are in the late stages of clinical trials, and some have also have brought pharmaceutical products to market or set up partnerships to develop products, both at home and globally.

According to data compiled by the Canadian government, the country’s pharma companies are involved in research and development to bring new or improved patented therapies to market, and are also developing generic versions of bio-equivalent drugs whose patents have expired. Additionally, gene and cell therapies and nanomedicines are emerging fields in the Canadian pharmaceutical market.

Read on for a look at the five biggest Canadian pharma stocks by market cap; TSX- and TSXV-listed companies were considered, but only firms on the TSX were large enough to make the list.

This list was compiled using TradingView’s stock screener, and all data was accurate as of April 15, 2024.

1. Bausch Health Companies (TSX:BHC)

Company Profile

Market cap: C$6.89 billion; current share price: C$20.05

Québec-based Bausch Health Companies develops, manufactures and markets a range of pharma, medical device and over-the-counter products primarily for the therapeutic areas of eye health, gastroenterology and dermatology. It has manufacturing facilities in the provinces of Manitoba, Ontario and Québec.

Bausch’s UCERIS aerosol foam, which is used to treat mild to moderate distal ulcerative colitis in adults, is available for patients through public drug plans in Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. In terms of recent developments, the company’s dermatology business, Ortho Dermatologics, launched a topical gel called CABTREO for the treatment of acne vulgaris in patients 12 years and over in the US market this past January.

Bausch subsidiary Salix Pharmaceuticals is supporting a Phase 2 investigator-initiated study of methylnaltrexone bromide (RELISTOR), an opioid antagonist, in patients with resectable head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

Bausch’s full-year 2023 revenues came in at US$8.76 billion, up 8 percent on a reported basis and 7 percent on an organic basis. The company attributes the increase to its Salix, International, Solta and Bausch + Lomb segments.

2. Jamieson Wellness (TSX:JWEL)

Company Profile

Market cap: C$1.11 billion; current share price: C$26.24

Jamieson Wellness manufactures, distributes and markets natural health products in Canada and internationally. Its product lines include sports nutrition and specialty supplements under its Progressive, Precision and Iron Vegan brands.

Jamieson Wellness saw its consolidated revenue increase by 23.5 percent to C$676.2 million in 2023, which the company attributes to 25.5 percent growth in Jamieson brands and 15.5 percent growth from its strategic partners. In March, Jamieson paid out a quarterly cash dividend of $0.19 for the fourth quarter of last year.

Looking forward to 2024, Jamieson’s consolidated revenue guidance is set in the range of C$720 million to C$760 million, based on forecast growth of 6.5 to 12.5 percent.

3. Knight Therapeutics (TSX:GUD)

Company Profile

Market cap: C$576.67 million; current share price: C$5.76

Knight Therapeutics is focused on acquiring or in-licensing and commercializing specialty pharmaceutical products.

The company is targeting the Canadian and Latin American markets, and owns pan-Latin American pharmaceutical company Biotoscana Investments. Knight’s Latin American subsidiaries operate under the entities United Medical, Biotoscana Farma and Laboratorio LKM. Through a license agreement with Amneal Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AMRX), Knight has exclusive rights in Canada and Latin America to seek regulatory approval and commercialize IPX203, an oral formulation of carbidopalevodopa extended-release capsules for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

In early February, Knight launched BIJUVA (estradiol and progesterone) capsules in Canada for the treatment of moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause. Later in the month, the company’s Brazilian affiliate, United Medical, launched Minjuvi (tafasitamab), indicated in combination with lenalidomide and followed by Minjuvi monotherapy, for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

Knight’s 2023 revenues came in at over C$343 million, up 18 percent over the previous year, while adjusted EBITDA was up by 11 percent to over C$60 million. ‘I am excited to announce that we have delivered ten consecutive years of record revenues and have delivered record EBITDA since 2019,” said Knight President and CEO Samira Sakhia.

4. Fennec Pharmaceuticals (TSX:FRX)

Company Profile

Market cap: C$392 million; current share price: C$14.20

Fennec Pharmaceuticals is a late-stage biotech firm focused on improving the treatment of pediatric cancer patients. The company’s lead candidate, Pedmark, is a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved treatment for pediatric cancer patients experiencing hearing loss as a result of platinum-based chemotherapy.

Pedmark received breakthrough therapy and fast-track designation from the FDA in March 2018, and four years later the agency granted it full approval to use the therapy to reduce the risk of ototoxicity associated with cisplatin in pediatric patients with localized, non-metastatic tumors. In October 2022, Fennec began its US commercial launch of Pedmark.

In March, Fennec announced a partnership with European pharma company Norgine. Under an exclusive licensing agreemen, Norgine will commercialize Fennec’s PEDMARQSI in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

For its 2023 fiscal year, the company’s net product sales totaled US$21.3 million compared to US$1.5 million in 2022, which it attributed to strong growth in new patient starts and accounts.

5. Profound Medical (TSX:PRN)

Company Profile

Market cap: C$268.23 million; current share price: C$10.84

Last on this list of the biggest Canadian pharma stocks is commercial-stage medical device company Profound Medical, which is developing and marketing incision-free therapies for the ablation of diseased tissue.

The company is currently commercializing its TULSA-PRO system, which incorporates real-time MRI and robotics technology, for use in the surgical treatment of intermediate to advanced-stage prostate cancer. The technology has been approved by Health Canada and is 510(k) cleared by the FDA. Profound Medical is also working to commercialize Sonalleve, which has been CE marked for the treatment of uterine fibroids and palliative pain treatment of bone metastases. Sonalleve has also been approved by the China National Medical Products Administration for the non-invasive treatment of uterine fibroids, while the FDA has given it a Humanitarian Device Exemption for the treatment of osteoid osteoma.

In late February, Profound Medical inked a non-exclusive collaboration with Siemens Healthineers that could see Profound begin marketing its TULSA-PRO system with the MAGNETOM Free.Max magnetic resonance scanner from Siemens Healthineers. TULSA-PRO will remain a standalone offering as well.

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

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