Jefferies Reiterates Upbeat View on Marinus Pharmaceuticals Inc (MRNS) Amid Phase II Data Update

Yesterday, Marinus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:MRNS) announced more complete data from the exploratory Phase II study in 11 children with uncontrolled seizures due to the PCDH19 mutation, which showed some variability but potential signals of improved seizure control, with 7 patients benefiting from seizure reductions and four patients showing signs of over 50% improvement.

On back of the positive additional data, Jefferies analyst Brian Abrahams reiterates a Buy rating on MRNS with a price target of $3.00, which represents just under a 59% increase from where the shares last closed.

The analyst notes, “While we remain cautious on orphan epilepsies given challenges conducting and interpreting trials, we continue to believe MRNS is undervalued based on potential for ganaxalone IV in SE, with potential upside in PPD.”

However, Abrahams comments that four patients in this study did experience an increase in seizure frequency. This coupled with “some discordance” wedged amid improvements when evaluating the overall seizure count as well as variability in epilepsy’s clustering effect and even possibly indicated in the drug’s treatment effects could underscore a prospective “challenge” when configuring trials to come.

Orphan epilepsies programs do admittedly have Abrahams keeping his eyes open, yet he places more valuation emphasis “on probability-weighted success of IV ganaxolone for status epilepticus — and their more promising, recently announced PPD program could also create increased attention.”

Ultimately, “If MRNS can replicate SAGE’s high-degree of efficacy of treating female depressive disorders, which we believe is likely given the chemical similarity, there could be material upside for the stock,” Abrahams concludes.

According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, five-star analyst Brian Abrahams is ranked #223 out of 4,200 analysts. Abrahams has a 56% success rate and yields 10.4% in his yearly returns. When recommending MRNS, Abrahams gains 18.7% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics exhibit MRNS as a Buy. Based on 3 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 2 rate a Buy on MRNS, while 1 maintains a Hold. The consensus price target stands at $3.00, which represents a nearly 60% increase from where the stock is currently trading.

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