Americans live longer than ever, and a handful of biotech stocks stand at the forefront of longevity’s future. Many misconceive anti-aging stocks as peddling some magic pill that inexplicably makes you live longer — that perception is pure fiction. While many treatments help extend your life if leveraged properly and consistently — namely, diet and exercise — the most compelling longevity stocks address specific age-associated ailments instead.
As we age, rapid neurological and physical degeneration gives rise to a whole host of death-inducing ailments — i.e., cancer, Alzheimer’s and more. Treating these late-stage killers is where tremendous value ultimately lies. Just look to Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) as an example of biotech stocks capturing longevity trends via therapeutics. The company’s drug, Leqembi, is the first FDA-approved treatment to slow Alzheimer’s. Once announced, Biogen stock shot up 40%.
But Biogen isn’t the only game in town. Instead, look to these smaller emerging biotech stocks if you’re fighting to find the fountain of youth.
Denali Therapeutics (DNLI)
Denali Therapeutics (NASDAQ:DNLI) focuses on neurodegenerative disorders disproportionately affecting the elderly. Like Biogen, Denali seeks to extend life at the far end of the current aging spectrum. Shares took a tumble in 2023 as the firm canceled plans to continue its own Alzheimer’s drug trial amid high-dose safety concerns. But investors trading biotech stocks must be used to volatility and playing the long game despite short-term bearish sentiment. From a long-term perspective, Denali is one of today’s top longevity stocks.
The company’s current pipeline is robust, with four late-clinical therapeutics and a handful more in pre- or early-clinical testing. But, beyond its pipeline, the wide industry’s endorsement sets DNLI apart from other small-cap, speculative biotech stocks. The company enjoys a range of partnered activities with giants like Biogen. At the same time, institutional players own nearly 80% of the company’s shares. That wide approval indicates long-term bullishness in this biotech stock, even if short-term turbulence makes actively trading shares a volatile proposition.
Recursion Pharmaceuticals (RXRX)
Early drug discovery is a lengthy, expensive and time-consuming process. Biotech stocks don’t usually have the resources to test every possible permutation of biological targets and possible therapeutic compounds during drug discovery. But Recursion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:RXRX) is accelerating drug discovery using artificial intelligence (AI). This novel approach makes RXRX a top biotech stock to capture the broad longevity trend.
RXRX’s Recursion OS platform facilitates the entire range of drug discovery, including AI-assisted biological and chemical matching, cell culture, analytics and enough robotic automation to run 2.2 million annual experiments. In RXRX’s words, its customizable platform turns “drug discovery from sequential trial-and-error into a search problem.” In other words, rather than playing an iterative guessing game to match biologics with treatments, longevity companies can digitally run through thousands (or more) combinations to find viable candidates for testing.
Since RXRX offers a platform to facilitate drug discovery, its performance is ultimately agnostic to drug-specific outcomes. That means RXRX is a top biotech stock capturing the overall trend rather than betting the farm on a single drug or therapeutic. And major players are taking note. Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) is betting on the overall biotech and longevity trend via a $50 million investment in RXRX’s future.
Scholar Rock (SRRK)
Scholar Rock (NASDAQ:SRRK) targets a slightly different aging problem than most longevity stocks focused on neurological disease. Instead, Scholar Rock uses monoclonal antibodies for a range of treatments throughout its pipeline. And those treatments have huge implications for the future of longevity.
The company’s core longevity offering targets fibrosis. Fibrosis includes organ and tissue scarring that causes poor function. Cardiac fibrosis happens as we age and is a leading contributor to heart disease. That issue is a leading cause of death in America across demographic segments. If Scholar Rock can knock out this significant contributor to mortality, it could revolutionize longevity in a way other niche treatments can’t by sheer scope and reach.
Better yet for investors, Scholar Rock is capitalizing on the increasingly popular obesity treatment trend kickstarted by Novo Nordisk’s (NYSE:NVO) Ozempic. Its early-stage antimyostatin treatment could help manage obesity and offer inroads into wider cardiometabolic disorders — again, the leading contributors to early mortality in America.
On the date of publication, Jeremy Flint held no positions (directly or indirectly) in the securities mentioned. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.