Analysts are weighing in on biotechnology firms Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PPHM), Sarepta Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:SRPT), and Cara Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:CARA). Here’s a quick roundup of today’s brokerage notes on PPHM, SRPT and CARA.
Peregrine shares lost more than 60% of their value today after the company announced that is discontinuing the Phase III SUNRISE trial of bavituximab in patients with previously treated locally advanced or metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
However, FBR analyst Thomas Yip reiterated an Outperform rating on the stock, with a $3.50 price target, which implies an upside of 766% from current levels.
Yip observed, “Overall survival (OS) in patients treated with bavituximab plus docetaxel were in line with original trial assumptions, but OS in patients treated with docetaxel monotherapy were longer than expected in trial assumptions based on data from recently published studies. Peregrine announced that it will continue its immuno-oncology clinical program in collaboration with AstraZeneca given a different mechanism of action compared to the SUNRISE trial, but will suspend all chemotherapy combination trials. While we are looking to elucidate a number of unknown variables with company management that could affect bavituximab’s future, we maintain our Outperform rating.”
According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Thomas Yip has a yearly average return of -25.9% and a 14.7% success rate. Yip has a -10.5% average return when recommending PPHM, and is ranked #3601 out of 3675 analysts.
Sarepta Therapeutics Inc
Shares of Sarepta are down nearly 10% as of this writing, after the company reported fourth-quarter financials and provided investors with an update on its regulatory and clinical progress.
Cowen analyst Ritu Baral observed, “We remain cautious regarding a potential near-term approval based on FDA’s AdComm briefing documents, which conveyed clear concerns around all the types of efficacy data on eteplirsen that SRPT provided: biomarker data, 6MWT, and timed function tests. The PDUFA was also delayed from Feb 26 to May 26, 2016.”
The analyst continued, “We are not heartened by the FDA’s less-than-speedy rescheduling of the delayed AdComm; this does not communicate a sense of urgency at the Agency to make a DMD therapy commercially available. We think approval could be pushed back well into the 2017 timeframe. Even preliminary Ph3 data from the currently enrolling open label etelpliresen pivotal trial could help bolster the currently thin eteplirsen dataset and make FDA more amenable (pending trial outcomes) to approve eteplirsen. Full data from this trial is not likely until 2018.”
The analyst reiterated a Market Perform rating on shares of Sarepta, without suggesting a price target.
According to TipRanks.com, analyst Ritu Baral has a yearly average return of 4.3% and a 35.3% success rate. Baral has a -20.0% average return when recommending SRPT, and is ranked #590 out of 3675 analysts.
Cara Therapeutics Inc
Finally, Cantor analyst Chiara Russo reiterated a Buy rating on shares of Cara Therapeutics, with a price target of $28, after the company announced a protocol clinical hold on the Phase 3 trial for IV CR845, its lead product candidate for post-surgical pain.
Russo commented, “The protocol hold was triggered by four out of 22 patients in the highest dosing group that had elevated blood salt levels. To be clear, this is not a full clinical hold, but one that was an automatic if certain criteria were met. Upon review of the data, we believe that the trigger was falsely fired and that the trial will ultimately suffer at worst a three-month delay with minimal to no changes to the study protocol.”
The analyst concluded, “In our analysis, this is a trigger that never should have been hit, and our estimated three-month delay does not affect our current valuation.”
According to TipRanks.com, analyst Chiara Russo has a yearly average return of -21.9% and a 24.3% success rate. Russo has a -55.1% average return when recommending CARA, and is ranked #3576 out of 3675 analysts.