The Alternative Investment Market (AIM) might carry some risk, but its home to some companies that have rewarded their shareholders massively over the past year. But can they keep on heading up?
Shares in Tiziana Life Sciences (LSE: TISL) have soared by a staggering 348% over the past 12 months. So what does it do?
Its a small biotechnology company with a market cap of under 180m, but its working on something that has enormous potential novel therapeutics for cancer, with a focus on late-stage metastasis. The firms first research goal is to develop a drug to treat metastatic breast cancer, which affects around 12,000 people a year in the UK alone.
Tiziana is still in the net investment phase, having raised 8.3m in the first half of 2015 through a share placing and the issuing of a convertible loan note, and of that there was approximately 7m in cash left at the halfway point in June.
If you invest now youll be taking a big gamble on a success coming through the firms pipeline, but any early signs of a breakthrough could turn Tiziana into a tasty takeover target.
My next pick is 4d Pharma (LSE: DDDD), whose shares are up 143% in the past year. Again its a pharmaceuticals/biotechnology firm, this time tackling things like Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Crohns disease using an approach based onlive biotherapeutics (thats living bacteria, rather than dead chemical stuff).
Promising research results have been behind the share price surge, though it has gone a little off the boil with a 24% drop since Mays peak but with trading volumes being relatively small we should expect some volatility.
The firms first-half update again focused on cash generation, with a placing in February raising 34.3m and at the halfway stage, the coffers contained 61.5m in cash and equivalents. Nobody knows when profits will arrive, so again youd be gambling on it happening before the cash runs out.
My third for today, which takes technology in a different direction, is Pure Wafer (LSE: PUR). Its the smallest of the three, with a market cap of just 51m, but its shares have stormed up 213% in 12 months. As its name suggests, the company bills itself as one of the leading global providers of high quality silicon wafer reclaim services, and counts a number of the worlds big semiconductor firms among its clientele.
The company suffered a catastrophic fire at its Swansea wafer reclaim facility last December, but by May this year the firm had reached a satisfactory agreement with its insurers in the shape of a cash settlement with the Swansea facility not to be rebuilt its since been sold off for redevelopment, along with the firms 99 year lease on the land.
Forecasts cant make much sense at the moment, but the firm says that demand for its wafer reclaim services in the US remain strong, and its a market that can only grow.
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Alan Oscroft has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don’t all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.