Biotech Beat: Analysts Bullish on Uniqure NV (QURE) and Can Fite Biopharma Ltd (ADR) (CANF)

This week, analysts expressed bullish sentiments on both Uniqure NV (NASDAQ:QURE) and Can Fite Biopharma Ltd (ADR) (NYSEMKT:CANF) in light of new drug data and upcoming trials for pipeline products.

Uniqure NV

Ritu Baral of Cowen & Co. reiterated an Outperform rating on uniQure after the company presented positive Phase 1/2 data on AMT-110 last week at the International Conference on Sanfilippo Syndrome and Related Lysosomal Storage Diseases on Friday.

AMT-110 is one of uniQure’s pipeline drugs and aims to treat Sanfilippo syndrome; a metabolism disorder that occurs when the body cannot breakdown certain units. The data was well-received by Key Opinion Leaders, KOLs, in the field and there was “significant enthusiasm” for the regimen. However, Baral notes that 18 more months “of follow-up is needed to establish strong evidence of benefit, due to the poor natural history data,” but added, “The 12-mo. data to date is highly encouraging.”

As for creating endpoints for the next trial, Baral notes, “One clear takeaway from the conference is that there is no clear universally accepted clinical endpoint or set of endpoints for measuring either cognitive or behavioral defects in MPS3,” which is the genetic defect targeted by the drug. The analyst goes on to describe several options for measuring the effectiveness of drugs targeting MPS3, though none of the scales “have been universally accepted by MPS KOLs, discussed to date with regulatory authorities, or validated in MPS3.”

Baral has a 49% overall success rate recommending stocks with a +18.9% average return per rating. Her bullishness is echoed by the 8 other analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, all of whom are bullish on the biopharmaceutical company. The average 12-month price target between these 8 analysts is $41.50, marking a 121% potential upside from current levels.

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Can Fite Biopharma Ltd

Due to Can Fite’s piclidenoson programs and two recent cash equity raises, Mark Breidenbach of H.C. Wainwright is reiterating a Buy rating on the biopharmaceutical company and raising his price target from $4 to $6.

Piclidenoson is the name of Can-Fite’s new generic drug, CF101, in testing to treat rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. Pivitol studies for both endpoints are scheduled to begin in 2016, and the analyst expects “RA protocol to be finalized within the next few months.” Breidenbach adds, “We believe two recent equity raises (totaling $13.8M) give Can-Fite the cash it needs to fully fund the planned trials without the need for partners to offset trial costs.”

The analyst also points to CF102, a pipeline drug for liver cancer, which has received Fast Track Designation by the FDA. The company is in the process of enrolling 78 liver cancer patients into its Phase 2 trial. Breidenbach comments, “We expect patient enrollment to complete in mid-2016, with early efficacy data potentially available by mid-2017. We believe the new designation could ultimately accelerate registration of CF102 in liver cancer if CF102 can demonstrate a modest OS benefit.”

According to TipRanks, Breidenbach is the only analyst who has weighed in on the biotech company in the last 3 months. He has a 75% success rate recommending CANF with a +42.3% average return per rating.

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