Biotech Beat: Relypsa Inc (RLYP), Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ARIA), Anacor Pharmaceuticals Inc (ANAC)

Relypsa Inc

In a research report issued today, Wedbush analyst Liana Moussatos weighed in on drug maker Relypsa Inc (NASDAQ:RLYP), after the company released Veltassa (patiromer) launch metrics for the month of April. In the outpatient setting, 1,216 patients received a free starter supply of Veltassa versus 1,277 patients in March (4.8% decrease), 928 outpatient retail prescriptions were filled versus 706 in March (31.4% increase), and 288 hospital/institution Veltassa units were soldversus 201 in March (43.3% increase).

Moussatos noted, “Relypsa previously said that it anticipates a gradual launch ramp due to having to break new ground with physician practice as Veltassa is the first approved chronic hyperkalemia treatment and physicians are used to episodic treatment by discontinuing RAAS inhibitors and/or short-term treatment with sodium polystyrene sulfonate (SPS). While we understand there are positive anecdotal comments from physicians testing Veltassa, we believe widespread use could take some time as we understand patients may visit their specialists every six months; however, our long-term view of Veltassa being a breakthrough and potential billion dollar treatment for hyperkalemia remains intact.”

Moussatos reiterated an Outperform rating on shares of Relypsa, with a price target of $51, which represents a potential upside of 252.5% from where the stock is currently trading.

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

Out of the 11 analysts polled by TipRanks in the past 3 months, 9 rate Relypsa stock a Buy, while 2 rate the stock a Sell. With a return potential of 113%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $30.80.

Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Cowen analyst Chris Shibutani was out with a research note on Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIA), outlining his expectations for the company’s clinical abstracts for the upcoming American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2016.

Shibutani wrote, “Investors should keep in mind that information included in the abstract represents a limited portion of the total data set that will be presented at ASCO (oral presentation, Monday, June 6th). The abstract will include patient data up until end of November, with 3-months of additional data (through the end of February). We will be focused on PFS data – however, noting that the PFS in the abstract will not be fully mature. Recall, the PFS from the Phase I/II data was 13.4 months in the second-line setting (patients who had previously been treated with Crizotinib). With PFS ranges reported in the second line setting from currently available drugs, ranging from 6-9 months, the implications of brigatinib demonstrating a stronger PFS (we expect a differential in the final full data set of +2-3 months versus competitor drugs) would be material to the revenue opportunity, both in terms of share as well as longer duration of patients remaining on the drug.”

Shibutani reiterated an Outperform rating on shares of Ariad, with a price target of $10, which implies an upside of 28% from current levels.

According to, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Chris Shibutani has a yearly average return of 1.3% and a 40% success rate. Shibutani has a 11.1% average return when recommending ARIA, and is ranked #2156 out of 3910 analysts.

Out of the 5 analysts polled by TipRanks (in the past 3 months), 3 rate Ariad stock a Buy, 1 rates the stock a Hold and 1 recommends a Sell. With a return potential of 24.5%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $9.60.

Anacor Pharmaceuticals Inc

Mizuho’s top healthcare analyst Irina Rivkind Koffler downgraded shares of Anacor Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ANAC) from Buy to Neutral, while reducing the price target to to $99.25 from $98, following the news that Pfizer would buy Anacor for about $4.5 billion.

Koffler noted, “We are downgrading ANAC and raising our PT based on the cash tender price in the merger agreement. Although the takeout price came in below our theoretical takeout price of $113/share, an entire trading day has passed and we now believe that no competing bids are likely. We now await the kickoff of the tender offer, expected by June 1, which will remain open for a minimum of 20 days, as stipulated in the agreement. PFE expects the deal to close in 3Q:16.”

According to, analyst Irina Koffler has a yearly average return of 23.9% and a 53% success rate. Koffler has a 6.2% average return when recommending ANAC, and is ranked #19 out of 3910 analysts.

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