Maxim analyst Jason Kolbert offers commentary on shares of AEterna Zentaris Inc. (USA) (NASDAQ:AEZS) after the biotech firm reported its second-quarter results and provided a corporate update on its clinical progress. Kolbert reiterates a Buy rating with a price target of $11, which represents a nearly 219% increase from where the shares last closed.

Kolbert highlights AEZS lead anti-cancer pipeline drug Zoptrex, on its way to delivering pivotal Phase 3 trial data in endometrial cancer by fourth-quarter, as it wraps up its final stages of the study. With Kolbert anticipating results to be released by first quarter of 2017 and strong confidence that the data will be positive, the firm could file for a New Drug Application by 1H17.

Meanwhile, AEZS drug Macrilen, a novel orally-active ghrelin agonist designed to evaluate adult growth hormone deficiency (AGHD) is “on track” to complete enrollment in its pivotal trial by this month with expectations for completion later this year and an NDA anticipated by 1H17. The analyst asserts, “Recall that this is essentially a confirmatory study, so we see a very low risk level.”

Kolbert believes, “As pivotal data nears, AEterna is now shifting towards commercialization. With a lack of data (data trough period) for many companies in 2016, we see AEterna as an exception with two pivotal studies reading out in the short term (<six months). As such, we continue to see AEZS as an exceptional value in the space.”

Additionally, AEterna posted quarter results with an operational burn of around $7 million, closing the period with $26 million in cash flow. In Kolbert’s mind, this should render “plenty of capital to fund the company through major inflection points associated with the pivotal study of Zoptrex, with Macrilen right behind it.”

As usual, we recommend taking analyst notes with a grain of salt. They are often successful in moving the stock price, but you always need to take things into perspective. According to TipRanks, Jason Kolbert is ranked #4,021 out of 4,110 analysts. Kolbert has a 28% success rate and sees a loss of 18.8% in his annual returns. When recommending AEZS, Kolbert loses 55.6% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics show AEXS as a Buy. Both analysts polled in the last 3 months by TipRanks rate a Buy on AEterna. The 12-month average price target is $11.50, marking a 233% upside from where the stock is currently trading.

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