The Motley Fool recommends their 4 favorite healthcare stocks of 2021 leaving out a potential diamond in the rough with major upcoming catalysts

Keep your eye on is Avalon GloboCare (NASDAQ:AVCO)

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In Motley Fool’s article “Investing in healthcare stocks”  they give there top 4 picks of this year .

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: VRTX) stands out as one of the top biotech stocks on the market. The company primarily focuses on developing drugs that treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis (CF), a rare genetic disease that damages lungs and other organs. Vertex’s newest CF drug, Trikafta, could boost the number of patients that its drugs can treat by more than 50%. The company is also developing drugs targeting other rare genetic diseases as well as more common diseases including type 1 diabetes.

Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG) is a great example of the robotic surgical system type of medical device stock. The company’s da Vinci robotic surgical system has been used in more than 7.2 million procedures since its introduction in 1999. The COVID-19 pandemic hurt the company’s business, as elective surgeries were postponed. However, the availability of vaccines should help bring the pandemic to an end and return Intuitive’s business to its previous strong growth. Over the long run, the company should have tremendous growth opportunities ahead with more older people requiring the types of surgical procedures for which da Vinci is frequently used.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) ranks as the largest health insurer in the world. It also operates one of the biggest PBMs. The company’s size, stability, and dividend make UnitedHealth Group one of the most attractive payer stocks on the market.

Teladoc Health (NYSE: TDOC) is arguably one of the best healthcare provider stocks. The company provides telehealth services, delivering healthcare remotely through the internet and over the phone. Teladoc’s acquisition of Livongo Health in 2020 gave the company a digital health platform for helping people manage chronic conditions such as diabetes. The COVID-19 pandemic has driven increased adoption of virtual care services. Teladoc’s growth prospects should be very good even after the pandemic ends. Individuals, employers, governments, and health insurers are seeking to control healthcare costs which telehealth and chronic disease management help achieve.

A diamond in the rough and under the radar potential outperformer is a company by the name of Avalon GloboCare (NASDAQ: AVCO) who are using a proprietary S-Layer  “surface layer” technology to develop an intranasal vaccine that attaches to the mucosal membrane CEO Dr. David Jin pointed out. “We see our vaccine candidate as a complement to any injectable vaccines in clinical trials, because it could provide first-line immune protection at the virus’s entrance site”. Adding a coat of an S-layer onto solid surfaces can greatly improve the function of a therapeutic, vaccine, or device. The S-layer allows enhanced efficiency and interaction of targeted proteins and molecules for better function.

Avalon GloboCare is in the process of establishing a state-of-the-art research facility, the Christian Doppler Laboratory, located on the BOKU campus in Vienna, Austria, under the scientific leadership of Professor Eva-Kathrin Ehmoser, the Head of BOKU’s Institute for Synthetic Bioarchitectures and Professor Uwe Sleytr, a member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. In connection with the new facility, Avalon and BOKU have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to jointly apply for a matching research grant from the prestigious Christian Doppler Laboratory Foundation. Avalon also has research being done in MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), the UNRLS (University of Natural Resources and life sciences in Australia), Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City and the Lu Daopei Medical Group in China, which has the country’s top ranked hematology and bone marrow transplant program 

In the December 2020 issue of Nature’s Biopharma Dealmakers, Avalon’s President and CEO, David Jin, M.D., Ph.D., highlighted Avalon’s ongoing scientific and clinical developments including a first-in-human trial of a mucosal, intranasal vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 that is planned for early 2021. Dr. Jin also described the company’s innovative, allogeneic mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) therapy candidate, CB-MSC-1, which possess unique anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activities, as well as AVA-001, Avalon’s third-generation CAR T cell therapy that has shown robust activity in patients with relapsed, refractory B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia in a Phase 1 trial (Avalon feature in Biopharma Dealmakers).

“We are excited and motivated to join forces with the researchers at BOKU to drive innovation. We have already begun a collaboration on the mucosal SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and are moving quickly to establish additional joint research endeavors to bring about innovative technologies and new medicines to patients,” said Dr. Jin.

Avalon GloboCare, is a young, $100 million market cap company that has arguably some of the brightest minds in cell-based technology who have a competitive advantage with their “S-Layer” technology in a vaccine market that is expected to grow to approximately 93.billion by 2026 according to Forbes business . This small cap biotechnology company is working towards the goal of changing the way we fight the devastating affects of diseases that relentlessly attack our immune systems by using our own bodies against us. In the first quarter of 2020, Avalon GloboCare successfully completed a phase 1 first-in-human clinical study of AVA-001 in China for the treatment of relapsed refractory B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (R/R B-ALL). 90% of R/R B-ALL patients achieved complete remission with one dose and within one month of treatment, and then proceeded to a curative-intent allogeneic bone marrow transplant.  With more upcoming catalysts in Q4 2020 and early 2021, it is safe to say that there is a large potential upside in AVCO’s stock that currently trades at only $1.14.  The company has been well capitalized to date and has very clean cap table relative to its industry peers making it an attractive investment. 

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