Biotech Catalysts to Watch: Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc (ICPT) and Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, Inc (RNN)

As Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ICPT) approaches a crucial date for FDA approval of a liver disease treatment and Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, Inc (NYSE:RNN) announces its YE15 earnings and future strategy for its oncology treatment portfolio, two analysts remain highly optimistic and predict positive outcomes for both companies. Let’s take a closer look:     

Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc

On April 7th, Intercept’s Obeticholic Acid (OCA) treatment for Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC; a chronic liver disease) is expected to be reviewed by one of the FDA’s advisory committees, which will deem the treatment appropriate or not its upcoming PDUFA at the end of May. Analyst Ritu Baral of Cowen and Company shares her predictions for the approaching event.

Baral believes the committee will support approving the treatment, stating, “We expect the upcoming [advisory committee] for ICPT’s OCA in PBC on April 7th to be positive and to support approval of the drug’s May 29 PDUFA.” She continues, “We think discussion at the AdComm will focus on validation of alkaline phosphatase (the pivotal POISE trial’s primary endpoint) to support conditional approval, as well as discussion on the definition of a ‘second-line’ PBC patient or URSO failure. We expect minor discussion on safety.”

Ultimately, Baral reiterates a Buy Rating on ICPT with a 12-month price target of $212.00.

According to TipRanks, the analyst has a 37% success rate and with a one-year average return per recommendation of 3.1%.


Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, Inc

In a recent press release, the clinical stage biopharmaceutical company Rexahn posted 4Q15 and YE15 earnings results and discussed future clinical strategies for the its oncology treatment portfolio. FBR & Co analyst, Vernon Bernardino, suggests that the company’s pipeline treatments can potentially become catalysts for broader applicability, and will potentially deliver huge revenues. As a resulting, the analyst reiterates a Buy rating with a price target of $3.00.

In light of the progress of each treatment in the company’s portfolio, Bernardino explains, “We continue to anticipate multiple catalysts from these clinical assets to maintain investor excitement for Rexahn.” These product candidates hold more potential because of their core distinct function, which is to interfere with disease mechanisms (which doesn’t apply only to tumors) and thus presents bigger market potential. The analyst elaborates, “We believe the mechanisms of action of Rexahn’s compounds make for broad applicability and strategic flexibility in timing clinical development.”

The analyst believes that the product candidates have enormous potential for future revenues, stating,”We believe Rexahn’s portfolio of oncology drug candidates each target more than $1 billion of blockbuster opportunities and a total addressable global market estimated to be more than $110 billion.” He continues, “We believe the potential of Rexahn’s three clinical-stage product candidates to generate annual peak sales in excess of $5 billion could be attractive to partners.”

According to TipRanks, only Bernardino and one other analyst have rated RNN, both with Buy ratings. This sets a 12-month price target average of $3.00, marking a 809.09% upside.


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