Analysts Weigh In On Two Rising Biotechs: Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (INO), Neuralstem, Inc. (CUR)


Healthcare analysts weighed in today on biotech stocks Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:INO) and Neuralstem, Inc. (NASDAQ:CUR), while both stocks were among the top performers from the biotech sector today.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc

H.C. Wainwright analyst Yi Chen reiterated a Buy rating on shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals, with a price target of $17, after the company announced yesterday that its Phase 1 clinical study of the MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) vaccine GLS-5300 had begun enrollment.

Chen wrote, “We note that there is no vaccine or treatment against MERS. Recent outbreak caused 186 infections and 36 fatalities in South Korea. The DNA vaccine GLS-5300 previously induced 100% protection from a live virus challenge in a preclinical animal study. This human trial aims to obtain safety and immunogenicity data. In our view, this is a capital efficient approach for Inovio to move its pipeline forward.”

“We remind investors that Inovio’s end-of-Phase-2 meeting with the FDA is likely to occur in 1Q 2016 to discuss the design of the proposed Phase 3 trial of VGX-3100 for the treatment of cervical dysplasia. Preparations for this registration study,” the analyst added.

According to, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Yi Chen has a yearly average return of -28.3% and a 20% success rate. Chen has a -20.8% average return when recommending INO, and is ranked #3473 out of 3594 analysts.

As of this writing, all the 5 analysts polled by TipRanks rate Inovio stock a Buy. With a return potential of 172.2%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $17.50.

Neuralstem, Inc.

Neuralstem shares jumped nearly 18% Friday, after the company provided an update on its ongoing NSI-566 clinical programs at the Phacilitate Cell & Gene Therapy World conference. Subsequently, Brean Capital analyst Jonathan Aschoff reiterated a Buy rating and an $8.00 price target on the stock.

Aschoff observed, “The latest data support the view that NSI-566 cells demonstrate biological activity in all three indications and could lead to clinically meaningful treatment benefits. Neuralstem also provided anticipated timing for its NSI-566 programs. Final follow up from a Phase 2 trial in ALS (n=15) was completed in December 2015, and a larger Phase 2b efficacy trial for ALS is scheduled. Every NSI-566 treated patient in Phase 2b will receive 40 cervical and lumbar injections totaling 12 million NSI-566 cells, and endpoints including ALSFRS, grip strength, and vital capacity will be measured at 9 months. Neuralstem also plans to initiate a Phase 2/3 chronic stroke trial in China in 2H16, and continue its treatment of chronic spinal cord injury in a higher dose cohort.”

According to, analyst Jonathan Aschoff has a yearly average return of -13.9% and a 31% success rate. Aschoff has a -66.4% average return when recommending CUR, and is ranked #3569 out of 3594 analysts.

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