Relypsa Inc (RLYP) and Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc (ICPT) Attract Analysts In Light of Potential Acquisition and Favorable FDA’s Panel Outcome

Healthcare analysts weigh in on drug makers Relypsa Inc (NASDAQ:RLYP) and Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ICPT), as one explores potential sale and the other gets closer to FDA approval. Let’s take a closer look.

Relypsa Inc

Relypsa shares skyrocketed nearly 68% yesterday following a Reuters’ article which indicated that Relypsa has received multiple overtures from potential buyers and as a consequence is working with an investment bank to review offers.

Wedbush analyst Liana Moussatos was the first to comment: “We previously looked at the phosphate binder market and based on Symphony Health estimates for total prescriptions, we calculated Renagel and Renvaler (both have the sevelamer polymer as the active ingredient) together have over 80% of the total phosphate binder annual prescriptions and that Sanofi has been clearly successful in our view at counter detailing metal-based phosphate binders. Sanofi and Relypsa have a two year co-detailing contract for Veltassa and we believe Sanofi’s involvement – especially with their salespeople’s presumed long-term relationships with nephrologists who prescribe phosphate binders – is likely to accelerate Veltassa uptake. Because Veltassa is a non-metal polymer like Sanofi’s phosphate binders, we see it as a great addition for their salespeople. Consequently, we would not be surprised if Sanofi is the eventual acquirer.”

Moussatos reiterated an Outperform rating on shares of Relypsa, with a price target of $52, which represents a potential upside of 114% from where the stock is currently trading.

According to, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Liana Moussatos has a yearly average return of 10% and a 39% success rate. Moussatos has a 4% average return when recommending RLYP, and is ranked #234 out of 3780 analysts.

Out of the 11 analysts polled by TipRanks (in the past 3 months), 10 rate Relypsa stock a Buy, while 1 rates the stock a Sell. With a return potential of nearly 62%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $39.30.

Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc

Intercept shares are up nearly 6% in pre-market trading Friday, after the Food and Drug Administration advisory committee recommended an accelerated approval of the biotech’s liver treatment Ocaliva.

In reaction, Cowen analyst Ritu Baral reiterated an Outperform rating on the stock, with a price target of $212, which represents a potential upside of 29% from where the stock is currently trading.

Baral noted, “We see very high likelihood of approval. We put extraordinarily high (>95%) odds of approval for OCA in PBC by its May 29 PDUFA date. This is based not only on the panelists’ vote and dicussion, but also our interpretation of FDA comments (repeatedly referring to the ongoing confirmatory study as Phase 4 and ‘post-approval’ as well as other comments). We think while the market already gave OCA a high probability of approval based on the positive read of the briefing documents earlier this week, positive panel discussion on the potential market size could trade up to the ~$180 range in the near-term. While ICPT is for now reaffirming its target 15,000 PBC patient target population, they do acknowledge final label language could very well influence this number.”

According to, analyst Ritu Baral has a yearly average return of 7.2% and a 42% success rate. Baral has a -8.5% average return when recommending ICPT, and is ranked #370 out of 3780 analysts.

Out of the 17 analysts polled by TipRanks, 12 are bullish on Intercept stock a Buy, 4 are neutral and 1 remains bearish. With a return potential of 68%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $274.50.

Stay Ahead of Everyone Else

Get The Latest Stock News Alerts