While the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology (IBB) fell nearly 4% today, biotech companies Dynavax Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:DVAX) and Uniqure NV (NASDAQ:QURE) climbed sharply higher after presenting encouraging clinical trial results. Let’s take a look and see what the analysts have to say about DVAX and QURE.
Dynavax Technologies Corporation
Dynavax shares jumped nearly 40% after the company announced that its experimental hepatitis B vaccine candidate, Heplisav-B, met its co-primary endpoints in a late-stage study. Specifically, Heplisav demonstrated clear superiority in seroprotection vs. Engerix-B in the general population and especially in diabetics, with a similar safety profile.
Subsequently, Cowen analyst Phil Nadeau reiterated an Outperform rating on Dynavax, with a price target of $60, which implies an upside of 108% from current levels.
Nadeau wrote, “We think that today’s results corroborate the fact that Heplisav-B is not associated with any greater development of autoimmunity than Engerix. Some investors are concerned by imbalance in cases of Bell’s Palsy in the HBV-23 trial (5 on Heplisav vs. 1 on Engerix), and the greater number of “new onset” autoimmune events in HBV-23 on Heplisav vs. Engerix (8 on Heplisav vs. 1 on Engerix). However, both Bell’s Palsy and “new onset” autoimmune events occurred at similar rates in the overall safety database from all of Heplisav’s trials. Moreover, none of the events were thought to be drug-related.
“We further note that the assessment of “new onset” vs. pre-existing autoimmunity can be subjective, and therefore we think the most meaningful figure is the overall rate of autoimmune adverse events on Heplisav vs. Engerix, which was balanced between the groups in HBV-23 as well as the overall database,” the analyst added.
According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Phil Nadeau has a yearly average return of 8.5% and a 50.0% success rate. Nadeau has an 75% average return when recommending DVAX, and is ranked #465 out of 3630 analysts.
As of this writing, all the 3 analysts polled by TipRanks rate Dynavax Technologies stock a Buy. With a return potential of 19%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $34.33.
Uniqure NV shares climbed 16% today after announcing positive preliminary top-line results from the low dose cohort of its AMT-060 hemophilia B AAV5 gene therapy drug.
In reaction, Chardan Capital analyst Gbola Amusa reiterated a Buy rating on shares of Uniqure, with a price target of $40, which represents a potential upside of 136% from where the stock is currently trading.
Amusa commented, “A positive, affirming our published 70% probability the preliminary data would in fact be positive. Previously, per our 1 December 2015 research, for AMT-060 in the phase I/II hemophilia B trial, we put “a 70% probability that the data at end-15 into 2016 will be positive, given: 1) St. Jude has already produced a landmark proof of concept study (published in the New England Journal of Medicine) using a gene cassette uniQure has licensed, 2) uniQure is dosing at 3x and 10x the highest dose used by St. Jude to possibly address any issues on vector tropism, 3) the AAV5 vector and doses uniQure is using have been validated for safety in acute intermittent porphyria (AIP) trials, and 4) data suggests uniQure’s AAV5 vector has lower levels of neutralizing antibodies than the AAV8 vector tested in the St. Jude study.” From here, it will be important to confirm durability of the results beyond 6 months to a year, and ideally years.”
According to TipRanks.com, analyst Gbola Amusa has a yearly average return of 1% and a 50.6% success rate. Amusa has a -37.7% average return when recommending QURE, and is ranked #1513 out of 3630 analysts.