Analysts Shine Light on Two Volatile Healthcare Stocks: TESARO Inc (TSRO) and Marinus Pharmaceuticals Inc (MRNS)

TESARO Inc (NASDAQ:TSRO) and Marinus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:MRNS) both made headlines this week as the biotech companies released data on pipeline drugs. While Tesaro shares soared following promising results for an ovarian cancer drug, Marinus investors had less to be excited about as the company’s pipeline drug to treat Fragile X syndrome failed to meet its primary endpoint.


Shares of Tesaro skyrocketed over 100% yesterday as the company released very positive results for Phase 3 trials of niraparib, a pipeline product to treat ovarian cancer. Mizuho analyst Eric Criscuolo weighs in on the company following these “grand slam” results.

Niraparib met all three of its primary endpoints in the Phase 3 trial. The drug successfully achieved progression-free survival in women with three different gene mutations, “germline BRCA-mutant, non-germline but HRD positive, and in the overall non-germline patients,” explains Criscuolo. The analyst notes that these results exceeded his expectations. He continues, “Results should significantly de-risk the story for both investors and potential acquirers, and likely places TSRO at the head of the PARP space data-wise.”

Criscuolo goes on to comment that these positive results are a testament to the company’s strong management as it highlights their ability to “design and execute a differentiated, impactful trial.” He also notes that these results bode well for companies like Clovis Oncology and Myriad Genetics that are developing similar therapies.

Criscuolo maintained an Outperform rating on Tesaro. He is currently reviewing his $67 price target as the company exceeded this level yesterday.

According to TipRanks, all 6 analysts who have rated the stock in the last 3 months are bullish.

Marinus Pharmaceuticals Inc

Marinus released disappointing news earlier this week when it revealed that its exploratory study of ganaxolone in Fragile X missed its primary endpoint. Despite the miss, Jefferies analyst Brian Abrahams remains bullish on the company based on ganaxolone’s potential in other illnesses.

The analyst explains that Marinus’ Phase 2 study of ganaxolone focused on 59 children with Fragile X syndrome and failed to meet its primary endpoint, noting, “The study did not meet its primary endpoint in CGII measurements, a scale that measures a very broad range of FXS symptoms, though they noted a positive trend was seen.”

Even though it failed to meet its primary endpoint, “the drug exhibited anxiolytic effects in post-hoc analyses.” Abrahams elaborates, “However, among patients with above-median anxiety at baseline, statistically significant improvements on certain subdomains of several of the endpoints designed to measure symptomatic changes in anxiety that were looked at – hyperactivity, social withdrawal, and anxiety – were noted.”

Abrahams continues to believe the company is undervalued due to “IV ganaxolone’s potential in status epilepticus and ultimate success in other indications such as FXS.”

The analyst reiterates a Buy rating on Marinus with a $2.50 price target, marking a 90% potential upside from where shares last closed.

According to TipRanks, one analyst is bullish on the company while 3 are on the sidelines. The average 12-month price target between these 4 analysts is $2.25, marking a 71% potential upside from where shares last closed.

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