Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT): Now That’s a Go Ahead!

On a day like today, when the entire stock market is under pressure, you must have done something right to see your stock jump over 20%. And Global Blood Therapeutics (NASDAQ:GBT) apparently did something right.

The drug maker announced today the completion of a planned review of Part A of the Phase 3 HOPE Study, which is evaluating voxelotor for the treatment of sickle cell disease (SCD). Fortunately, the study’s primary endpoint demonstrated a statistically significant increase with voxelotor at both the 1500 mg and 900 mg doses after 12 weeks of treatment versus placebo. However, the patient reported outcomes (PRO) data were difficult to interpret due to low baseline symptom scores and high inter-subject and intra-subject variability. Given this, GBT does not plan to utilize the PRO as a key secondary endpoint.

In reaction, Wedbush analyst Liana Moussatos reiterates an Outperform rating on Global Blood shares, with a price target of $70, which represents a potential upside of 53% from where the stock is currently trading. (To watch Moussatos’s track record, click here)

Moussatos commented, “The vast majority of previous SCD trials have used acute pain episodes or vaso-occlusive crises as the primary clinical endpoint. However, Dr. Elliot Vichinsky (Director of the Comprehensive Center for Sickle Cell Disease at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital) made a strong case in our view that increased hemoglobin levels due to reduced hemolysis is reflective of correction of the fundamental pathology of SCD and thus likely to translate to decreased morbidity risk due to stroke or organ failure. We consider the unmet secondary PRO endpoint to be offset by the demonstrated improvements in hemolytic efficacy.”

The rest of Wall Street echoes Moussatos’ bullish play, as TipRanks analytics exhibit GBT as a Strong Buy. Out of 8 analysts polled in the last 3 months, all 8 are bullish on Global Blood stock. With a return potential of nearly 90%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $85.

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