Achillion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ACHN) and Selecta Biosciences (NASDAQ:SELB) are both small-cap healthcare companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, institutional ownership, valuation, profitability, risk, analyst recommendations and dividends.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Achillion Pharmaceuticals and Selecta Biosciences’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Achillion Pharmaceuticals $15.00 million 29.87 -$61.70 million ($0.49) -6.63
Selecta Biosciences $8.08 million 28.15 -$36.21 million ($3.10) -3.28

Selecta Biosciences has lower revenue, but higher earnings than Achillion Pharmaceuticals. Achillion Pharmaceuticals is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Selecta Biosciences, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

77.0% of Achillion Pharmaceuticals shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 54.4% of Selecta Biosciences shares are held by institutional investors. 7.2% of Achillion Pharmaceuticals shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 41.9% of Selecta Biosciences shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.


This table compares Achillion Pharmaceuticals and Selecta Biosciences’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Achillion Pharmaceuticals N/A -17.84% -17.21%
Selecta Biosciences -1,918.59% -100.06% -61.41%

Risk & Volatility

Achillion Pharmaceuticals has a beta of 1.66, meaning that its share price is 66% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Selecta Biosciences has a beta of -5.57, meaning that its share price is 657% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for Achillion Pharmaceuticals and Selecta Biosciences, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Achillion Pharmaceuticals 0 3 3 0 2.50
Selecta Biosciences 0 0 3 0 3.00

Achillion Pharmaceuticals currently has a consensus price target of $5.50, indicating a potential upside of 69.23%. Selecta Biosciences has a consensus price target of $30.00, indicating a potential upside of 194.70%. Given Selecta Biosciences’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Selecta Biosciences is more favorable than Achillion Pharmaceuticals.


Achillion Pharmaceuticals beats Selecta Biosciences on 8 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Achillion Pharmaceuticals

Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in the discovery and development of small molecule drug therapies for infectious diseases and immune system disorders. The Company is focused on its complement inhibitor platform, directed at advancing small molecule compounds that have the potential to be used in the treatment of immune-related diseases associated with the alternative pathway of the complement system. The complement system is part of the human innate immune system. Its clinical compound from its complement inhibitor platform is ACH-4471. ACH-4471 is a potent and specific inhibitor of factor D, which demonstrated complete inhibition of the complement alternative pathway in human healthy volunteers in a Phase I clinical trial. The Company has discovered and advanced multiple compounds into clinical development, including sovaprevir, odalasvir, and ACH-3422 in its hepatitis C virus (HCV) program.

About Selecta Biosciences

Selecta Biosciences, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. The Company using its synthetic vaccine particle (SVP) technology to discover and develop targeted therapies that are designed to modulate the immune system to treat rare and serious diseases. The Company is engaged in the research and development of nanoparticle immunomodulatory drugs for the treatment and prevention of human diseases. Its product candidates are in various stages of clinical and preclinical development. Its SVP technology encapsulates an immunomodulator in biodegradable nanoparticles to induce antigen-specific immune tolerance to mitigate the formation of anti-drug antibodies (ADAs) in response to life-sustaining biologic drugs. The Company’s lead product candidate, SEL-212, is a combination of a therapeutic enzyme and its SVP technology designed to be the biologic treatment for gout.

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