Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:HALO), a biotechnology company developing novel oncology and drug-delivery therapies, today named Michael J. LaBarre, Ph.D. as chief scientific officer, succeeding Dr. Michael Shepard, who was appointed a Research Fellow for the company.

The move broadens Dr. LaBarre’s responsibilities to include research and development of early pipeline assets, in addition to his role managing product development and ENHANZE™ platform partnerships.

“Mike has deep experience characterizing early stage assets, making him an ideal leader for our research organization as we invest further in our promising pipeline,” said Dr. Helen Torley, president and chief executive officer. “We have a full agenda for the second half of 2015 as we broaden the study of our investigational new drug PEGPH20 in multiple tumor types and prepare for our pivotal phase 3 study in pancreatic cancer patients. I am pleased to have a proven leader of Mike’s caliber to guide our research efforts as we invest for future growth.”

Dr. LaBarre’s career comprises more than 2 decades of biotech drug discovery and development experience, including work on successful approvals of commercial therapies such as RITUXAN™. Prior to joining Halozyme in 2008, he served as vice president, product development at Paramount BioSciences LLC; director, analytical and protein biochemistry, discovery research at Biogen Idec; and director analytical and formulation sciences, research and development at IDEC Pharmaceuticals. He earned his B.S. in Chemistry from Southampton College of Long Island University and Ph.D. in Bioinorganic Chemistry from the University of Arizona.

The move broadens Dr. LaBarre’s responsibilities to include research and development of early pipeline assets, in addition to his role managing product development and ENHANZE™ platform partnerships.

“Mike has deep experience characterizing early stage assets, making him an ideal leader for our research organization as we invest further in our promising pipeline,” said Dr. Helen Torley, president and chief executive officer. “We have a full agenda for the second half of 2015 as we broaden the study of our investigational new drug PEGPH20 in multiple tumor types and prepare for our pivotal phase 3 study in pancreatic cancer patients. I am pleased to have a proven leader of Mike’s caliber to guide our research efforts as we invest for future growth.”

Dr. LaBarre’s career comprises more than 2 decades of biotech drug discovery and development experience, including work on successful approvals of commercial therapies such as RITUXAN™. Prior to joining Halozyme in 2008, he served as vice president, product development at Paramount BioSciences LLC; director, analytical and protein biochemistry, discovery research at Biogen Idec; and director analytical and formulation sciences, research and development at IDEC Pharmaceuticals. He earned his B.S. in Chemistry from Southampton College of Long Island University and Ph.D. in Bioinorganic Chemistry from the University of Arizona. (Original Source)

Shares of Halozyme Therapeutics closed last Friday at $17.33. HALO has a 1-year high of $25.25 and a 1-year low of $7.51. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $22.15 and its 200-day moving average is $18.06.

On the ratings front, Halozyme Therapeutics has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on August 11, JMP analyst Jason Butler maintained a Buy rating on HALO, with a price target of $22, which represents a potential upside of 26.9% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on July 9, UBS’s Andrew Peters reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $28.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Jason Butler and Andrew Peters have a total average return of 57.7% and 6.8% respectively. Butler has a success rate of 66.7% and is ranked #61 out of 3737 analysts, while Peters has a success rate of 36.8% and is ranked #1368.

Halozyme Therapeutics Inc is a biopharmaceutical company. It is engaged in research on human enzymes that alter the extracellular matrix and tumor environment.