Trillium Therapeutics (NASDAQ: TRIL) climbed 1,330% last year, but unlike most of its soaring biotech stock peers, its business has nothing to do with fighting the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. It’s an oncology specialist. And another banner year for investors could be coming in 2021 as the company gets more data from its cancer-fighting candidates and works toward a long-term goal of replacing a common method to treat the disease.
Human cells have a certain protein on their surface that signals to the immune system not to attack them. Nearly all cancers boost this protein, called CD47, to protect themselves and avoid detection. In March, Gilead (NASDAQ: GILD) purchased Forty Seven, a biotech company that had a drug that interferes with the cancerous cells’ ability to use this trick, opening them up to attack by the immune system. That treatment, Magrolimab, is used in combination with chemotherapy.