Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:SGYP) released positive data this week and Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIA) had an investor event, leading analysts to share updated insights. Synergy provided updated data on plecanatide in patients with chronic idiopathic constipation, while Ariad’s management shared updates on brigatinib, an investigational drug for specific forms of cancer.

Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc

Michael Higgins of Roth Capital weighs in on Synergy Pharma after the company presented incremental data on plecanatide in patients with chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). Plecanatide in CIC has a New Drug Application filed with FDA, pending an answer by the end of January.

The analyst highlights new data from the company’s Phase 3 trial that was released at Digestive Disease Week. Higgins points to improvements in spontaneous bowel movements and “no worsening of bowel and abdominal symptoms.” Weekly measurements of plecanatide demonstrate its early improvement, which Higgins notes should “contribute to its commercial success.” He also compares the drug to Linzess, a competing drug from Allergan, noting that weekly responses in spontaneous bowel movements “are smaller with plecanatide vs. Linzess.”

While Higgins anticipates that plecanatide sales will be lower than those of Linzess due its “first-mover advantage,” he a points to a “higher ROI in the first five years’ launches given the lower SG&A spending required of plecanatide.” He remains confident that plecanatide will be approved by the FDA in January.

In light of this new data, Higgins reiterates a Buy rating on Synergy with a $6.50 price target, marking an 83% potential upside.

According to, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Michael Higgins has a yearly average return of -18% and a 21% success rate. Higgins has a -22% average return when recommending SGYP, and is ranked #3771 out of 3951 analysts.

As of this writing, all 4 analysts who have rated the company in the last 3 months are bullish on the company with a 12-month average price target of $11.38, marking a 221% potential upside from current levels.

Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Following an investor event with Ariad management, Jefferies analyst Eun Yang walked away optimistic that the company’s steady upside will continue going forward thanks to “positive changes under new leadership.”

Specifically, the analyst points to updated Phase 2 data for brigatinib, an investigational drug for specific forms of cancer, which is on track to be filed for approval. New results “could potentially provide” improved data on progression free survival rates and overall survival rates thanks to the drug. Brigatinib in tandem with Iclusig, an approved drug for specific forms of chromic myeloid leukemia, constitute a “renewed interest to drive shares,” according to Yang.

The analyst looks forward to hearing more about the company’s plans for brigatinib at upcoming investor events on June 6 on June 17.

Yang reiterates a Buy rating on Ariad Pharma with a $13 price target, marking a 63% potential upside from where shares last closed.

According to TipRanks, 4 analysts covering the stock are bullish while one is bearish. The average 12-month price target between these 5 analysts is $10, marking a 25% potential upside.