On May 12th, Ardelyx Inc (NASDAQ:ARDX) shares plummeted 39%, quite a stark drop. The cause: a disappointing read-out of the first of two pivotal trials that compared to the Phase 2b trial showed a dip in response rates for ARDX’s lead product candidate tenapanor, designed to treat constipation predominant IBS.
Though BTIG analyst Tim Chiang has not switched to the sidelines in the aftermath of investor confidence crashing around Ardelyx, he reiterates a Buy rating on shares of ARDX while cutting the price target from $18 to $12, which represents a 58% increase from where the stock is currently trading.
Chiang highlights, “In sum, we think ARDX shares are down largely because the overall response rates shown in the T3MPO-1 Phase 3 study are much lower than what was shown in the prior Phase 2b study. The combined responder rate in patients dosed with tenapanor 50 mg BID was ~27% […] However, this response rate is much lower than what was observed in the prior Phase 2b study, where the reported responder rate had been close to ~50%. In addition, the incidence of diarrhea in the Phase 3 trial was ~14.6% (vs. 1.7% with placebo), with a ~5.9% discontinuation rate. This rate is higher than what was observed in the Phase 2b trial, which was at ~11% incidence. In our view, these results are mixed, and lead us to wonder how competitive tenapanor will be in the IBS-C treatment market”
Though the analyst still rates a Buy on the stock, his expectations have dimmed substantially, as he concludes, “With the lower overall response rates shown in the first of two Phase 3 studies vs. what was observed in the prior Phase 2b study, we think the commercial value of tenapanor may be somewhat diminished.”
According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, four-star analyst Tim Chiang is ranked #481 out of 4,561 analysts. Chiang has a 60% success rate and yields 14.5% in his yearly returns. However, when recommending ARDX, Chiang forfeits 26.3% in average profits on the stock.
Additionally, David Nierengarten of Wedbush rates a Buy on ARDX with a $24 price target, which represents a nearly 217% increase from current levels; Jason Gerberry of Leerink rates a Buy with an $18 price target, which represents a 137% increase from current levels; Michael King of JMP rates a Buy rating without listing a price target; Mara Goldstein of Cantor rates a Buy rating with a $19 price target, which represents a nearly 151% increase from current levels; and Yigal Nochomovitz of Citigroup rates a Buy rating on ARDX with a $13 price target, which represents a nearly 72% increase from current levels.