In a research report issued today, Chardan analyst Gbola Amusa reiterated a Sell rating on shares of Esperion Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ESPR), while reducing the price target from $55 to $40, emphasizing increased conviction in his Sell rating. The decreased price target comes after the FDA announced it approved Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN)’s LDL-lowering anti-PCSK9 therapy, Praluent.
Amusa explained, “For ESPR, the Praluent label reveals an important set of negatives, since: (1) FDA has had an apparent policy change by, as we expected, not approving broad use for Praluent, an extremely potent add-on LDL-lowering compound, when ETC-1002’s add-on LDL-lowering ability is uncontroversially much more modest than Praluent; (2) Praluent was only approved for patients on maximally tolerated statins (MTS), while ETC-1002 has not been tested in this population in its clinical trials and to us would have negligible efficacy if it were tested with MTS given that ETC-1002 works upstream of statins; and (3) FDA did not approve Praluent for statin intolerant patients, even though Regeneron conducted and submitted to FDA a statin intolerant trial for Praluent, meaning ETC-1002 might never get this label indication.
“For these three reasons, and as a consequence of our unanswered concerns on ETC-1002’s safety (e.g. Study -008 has shown significant adverse events, SAEs, that are unexplained and also has shown high levels of unexplained drug-related adverse events in one arm) and ETC-1002’s efficacy, we now cut our ESPR price target.”, the analyst added.
According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Gbola Amusa MD CFA has a total average return of 19% and a 72.1% success rate. MD has a 16.8% average return when recommending ESPR, and is ranked #311 out of 3745 analysts.
While Amusa rates Esperion Therapeutics a Sell, out of 8 analysts polled by TipRanks, 7 rate the stock a Buy. With a return potential of 61.2%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $117.75.