Analysts Weigh In On Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (AVXL) And Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc (MACK) Following Orphan Drug Designation And Analyst Day

Anavex Life Sciences Corp.

Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (NASDAQ:AVXL) shares are up over 6% this morning, after the small-cap biotech firm announced that its lead drug candidate 2-73, currently in a phase IIa study in Alzheimer’s Disease, has received orphan drug status for the treatment of Rett Syndrome.

Reacting was Maxim analyst Jason Kolbert, which reiterated a Buy rating on shares of Anavex, with a price target of $15, which implies an upside of 240% from current levels.

Kolbert noted, “Prior to obtaining orphan designation, Anavex demonstrated positive preclinical data for 2-73 in a Rett Syndrome mouse model. Overall, mice that received chronic oral daily dosing of 2-73 demonstrated significant improvements in behavioral and gait measures […] 2-73 continues to advance in Alzheimer’s disease and with orphan designation for Rett Syndrome, is one step closer to a second clinical program.”

According to, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Jason Kolbert has a yearly average return of -16% and a 28% success rate. Kolbert has a -25% average return when recommending AVXL, and is ranked #3841 out of 3929 analysts.

As of this writing, the 2 analysts polled by TipRanks rate Anavex stock a Buy. With a return potential of 250%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $15.

AVXL Chart

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc

In a research report published Friday, Brean Capital analyst Jonathan Aschoff reiterated a Buy rating on shares of Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:MACK), with a price target of $16, after the company hosted an R&D Day event yesterday focusing on its expanding oncology pipeline.

Aschoff wrote, “Merrimack disclosed its Onivyde clinical strategy, including plans for front-line pancreatic cancer, second-line small cell lung cancer (SCLC), and Onivyde + MM 151 (Merrimack’s oligoclonal EGFR inhibitor) in front-line metastatic colorectal cancer. Merrimack announced the initiation of a multi-arm basket Phase 1 trial in metastatic colorectal, non-small cell lung, and head and neck cancers. Importantly, this trial will use multiple biomarkers to match 95% of patients to targeted investigational treatment combinations. Merrimack also initiated a joint Phase 1 trial with Baxalta evaluating the safety/ tolerability of MM-151 in combination with Onivyde plus 5-FU and LV. This trial is based on data from a completed Phase 1 trial of MM-151 (will be presented at ASCO 2016), which supports further clinical development of this agent in mCRC. The company affirmed that full-year operating expenses will remain in line with previously provided guidance ($225-245 million) given the newly initiated trials.”

Is it worth listening to this analyst? Check Aschoff’s historical performance and ranking Here.

Out of the 6 analysts polled by TipRanks, 5 rate Merrimack stock a Buy, while 1 rates the stock a Hold. With a return potential of 137%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $15.

MACK Chart



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