AEterna Zentaris Inc. (USA) (NASDAQ:AEZS) shares are jumping nearly 5% after the biotech firm posted third-quarter results yesterday that with a pivotal clinical trial coming to an end and boosted capital have Maxim analyst Jason Kolbert bullish on the firm’s prospects moving forward.
On back of the report, the analyst reiterates a Buy rating on AEZS while trimming the price target from $11 to $10, which represents a 194% increase from where the shares last closed.
For the third quarter, AEZS reported a print circling $7 million in operational burn, while closing the quarter with $21 million in cash, excluding a recent $7.6 million raise and $2.3 million through the At Market Issuance (ATM) Sales Agreement program with H.C. Wainwright & Co.
Kolbert believes, “As we wrote last quarter, 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.”
The firm’s pipeline drug Zoptrex, a novel synthetic peptide carrier linked to doxorubicin as a New Chemical Entity (NCE), is currently in a fully-enrolled pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial in endometrial cancer with a data read-out due by fourth-quarter. The analyst adds, “AEterna should be able to report results 1Q17, and if data are positive (we think they will be), could file an NDA in 1H17.”
With regards to Macrilen, the biotech firm’s novel orally-active ghrelin agonist designed for use in evaluating adult growth hormone deficiency (AGHD), the analyst opines, “Enrollment in the pivotal trial is expected to be completed this month. The trial should as such be completed this year with an NDA expected in 1H17. Recall that this is essentially a confirmatory study, so we see a very low risk level.”
“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,” Kolbert concludes.
As usual, we recommend taking analyst notes with a grain of salt. According to TipRanks, analyst Jason Kolbert is ranked #4,052 out of 4,186 analysts. Kolbert has a 24% success rate and faces a loss of 17.5% in his annual returns. When recommending AEZS, Kolbert loses 55.0% in average profits on the stock.
TipRanks analytics exhibit AEZS as a Strong Buy. Out of 3 analysts polled by TipRanks, all three are bullish on AEternza Zentaris stock. With a nearly 195% potential for upside, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $10.00.