The 2017 report card so far: Big Biotech largely trading up as pharma posts mixed results

Share prices for several large drugmakers have jumped so far in 2017, according to a note from Mizuho. Bristol-Myers Squibb lost 4% of its share value for the period.

Biopharma's largest companies have faced a tumultuous year. Amid pricing pushback, payer maneuvering, biosim threats, manufacturing setbacks and other challenges, analysts with Mizuho calculated which drugmakers have managed to succeed on the stock markets this year—and which companies have struggled.

Most big drugmakers Mizuho covers in the U.S. have posted share price increases in 2017, except for Bristol-Myers Squibb, which lost 4% of its value since the start of the year. On the upside, AbbVie and Eli Lilly led the group at 13% and 12% share price growth, respectively. Merck and Pfizer each posted single-digit price gains. The stock performance figures are as of Aug. 4.

European pharmas, on the other hand, have seen mixed success with investors this year, according to a recent note from Mizuho analyst Salim Syed. GlaxoSmithKline and Merck KGaA shares have dipped by 2% and 7%, respectively, while Novartis' stock posted an 11% gain. Roche, Sanofi, Bayer, Novo Nordisk, and AstraZeneca all racked up single-digit share price increases.

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In the firm’s large-cap biotech coverage, all companies but Gilead have posted a double-digit stock price increase so far in 2017; Regeneron led the field at 27%. Gilead lagged the pack at a 2% share price increase so far in 2017. Amgen’s shares have grown 19% in value since the beginning of 2017, compared to 18% for Celgene, 11% for Alexion and 10% for Biogen.

Novartis, Roche and Pfizer lead the market cap race in Mizuho’s coverage, at $222 billion, $219 billion and $200 billion respectively.

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Each of the stock price increases and setbacks come as drug companies grapple with a new focus on pricing and value in the world’s biggest drug market, the U.S., and as regulators there eye measures to limit spending. But with the current firestorm lasting two years and with no tangible reform, some market watchers believe pricing action from the U.S. government will remain limited.

Biopharma investors largely breathed a sigh of relief back in June when reports indicated the Trump administration’s drug pricing approach would favor the industry.