Analysts Weigh in on Two Rising Biotech Stocks: Array Biopharma Inc (ARRY) and GW Pharmaceuticals PLC- ADR (GWPH)

It is a day full of great news for the biotech-verse as Array Biopharma Inc (NASDAQ:ARRY) shares are shooting 54% today on back of encouraging phase 3 results for its BRAF-mutant melanoma cancer treating pipeline, and GW Pharmaceuticals PLC- ADR (NASDAQ:GWPH) have climbed 14% after positive phase 2 data has emerged from its epilepsy-treating drug.

Array Biopharma Inc

Array Biopharma just delivered Phase 3 COLUMBUS trial results evaluating its pipeline drug encorafenib, an oral small molecule kinase inhibitor with potent and selective inhibitory activity, in combination with binimetinib in treating BRAF-mutant melanoma cancer. The results proved positive as the study revealed the drug reached a strong progression-free survival (PFS) endpoint.

In reaction, Cantor analyst Mara Goldstein reiterates a Buy rating on shares of ARRY with a $13 price target, which represents a nearly 128% increase from where the stock is currently trading.

Goldstein believes, “We think Array is on the cusp of commercialization with a treatment for BRAF and NRAS melanoma as positive COLUMBUS results set the stage for market commercialization. This, in addition to incremental news on other pipeline prospects, should help with valuation expansion as the commercial opportunity for binimetinib/encorafenib comes more into focus. With modest expectations overall, we continue to like the shares.”

In the first half of 2016, the biotech firm filed an NDA in NRAS-mutant melanoma, and ARRY has another one in the works for the bigger expression of BRAF melanoma. Ultimately, “We think the opportunities for Array are undervalued by investors. With the MEK/BRAF inhibitor market annualizing at $1 billion worldwide, we think Array has an opportunity to become the dominant combination in this market,” Goldstein concludes.

According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, one-star analyst Mara Goldstein is ranked #2,985 out of 4,183 analysts. Goldstein has a 43% success rate and faces a loss of 0.3% in her annual returns. When recommending ARRY, Goldstein loses 12.9% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics indicate ARRY as a Strong Buy. Based on 5 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 100% rate a Buy on ARRY. The 12-month price target stands at $8.50, marking a nearly 51% upside from where the shares last closed.

GW Pharmaceuticals PLC- ADR

This morning, GW Pharmaceuticals announced promising top-line data from the second Phase 3 study evaluating its pipeline cannabis-based drug for epilepsy, Epidiolex, and its effects in treating Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS), a type of epilepsy with multiple different types of seizures, especially tonic (stiffening) and atonic (drop) seizures.

GW’s results revealed median reduction in seizure frequency of 42% in the 20 mg/kg dose and a 37% in the lower 10 mg/kg dose, both of which are “highly statistically significant” against the 17% in the placebo arm.

As such, Piper Jaffray analyst Joshua Schimmer reiterates an Overweight rating on GWPH with a price target of $147, which represents a nearly 20% increase from where the shares last closed.

The analyst asserts, “With 3 out of 3 pivotal trials now positive, GWPH is increasingly well positioned for FDA submission next year with a consistent and robust efficacy and safety profile.” Particularly in light of past guidance and a pre-NDA meeting discussion with the FDA regarding Epidiolex, from Schimmer’s perspective, “the company continues to remain on track for submission in 1HJ17.”

“More detailed results from the first two pivotal studies will be featured at AES, and we will be looking for details on key secondary endpoints such as responder analyses, complete seizure freedom, SAEs, etc., though we are confident that there are no skeletons in the closet,” Schimmer concludes.

As usual, we recommend taking analyst notes with a grain of salt. According to TipRanks, one-star analyst Joshua Schimmer is ranked #3,053 out of 4,183 analysts. Schimmer has a 47% success rate and faces a loss of 0.3% in his yearly returns. However, when recommending GWPH, Schimmer gains 15.6% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics exhibit GWPH as a Buy. Based on 7 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 6 rate a Buy on GWPH, while 1 issues a Sell. The consensus price target stands at $135.29, marking a nearly 11% upside from where the stock is currently trading.


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