Sarah Roden

About the Author Sarah Roden

Sarah writes about stock market news for TipRanks. She graduated as member of Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia.

OvaScience’s Fertility Treatment Shows Promise

OvaScience (NASDAQ: OVAS) is still testing its Augment Treatment, but analysts seem optimistic about recent results. OvaScience focuses on developing fertility treatments. The company’s first available treatment is Augment, which aims to rectify the health of a woman’s eggs as she undergoes in vitro fertilization. In 2014, the treatment was introduced into some IVF clinics.

An interview conducted  on January 15th by The Life Sciences Report with analyst Rohit Vanjani of Oppenheimer discussed the new treatment. Vanjani noted that there has not been a significant amount of data derived from Augment, though he notes that the science behind the treatment “makes sense in theory.” Even though OvaScience has begun testing the treatment with patients outside the US, data will not be available until “the end of 2015 or early 2016.” Regardless, OvaScience is going to “launch commercially and hope it works out as planned.”

In vitro fertilization is an expensive process, approximately $15,000 in the United States per treatment, including medications. Costs rise as treatment progresses, totaling approximately $19,000 for every attempt. Vanjani clarified that IVF treatments are roughly $15,000 when a woman uses her own eggs and $25,000 when using donor eggs. OvaScience has only announced that Augment will be sold within the American average price range, regardless of where it is sold.

On January 20th, analyst Zarak Khurshid of Wedbush reiterated an Outperform rating on OvaScience and raised his price target from $47 to $60 after a Toronto-based IVF doctor said Augment looks “promising.” Khurshid noted that the article did not receive much attention because it was released at the same time as a healthcare conference in San Francisco, which garnered a lot of press. The analyst is optimistic because the interview discussed Augment, noting, “60 patients were enrolled and 15 Augment procedures were completed at the clinic, resulting in some pregnancies. Assuming some is roughly equal to three, the rate of pregnancy in this small sample set would be 20%, which would support the current pricing structure and a sizable market opportunity.” He noted one caveat, which is they “still do not know what the baseline IVF failure rate was or what the live birth rate is.”

Zarak Khurshid has rated OvaScience 6 times since September of 2013, earning a 100% success rate recommending the stock with a +43.1% average return per OVAS recommendation.

Khurshid has rated many more genetic and pharmaceutical stocks in the past, including Cerus Corp (NASDAQ: CERS) and Cepheid (NASDAQ: CPHD). He has rated Cerus Corp. 3 times since October of 2014, earning a 67% success rate recommending the stock and +29.2% average return per CERS recommendation. Likewise, Khurshid has rated 7 times since April of 2011, earning a 100% success rate recommending the stock and a +17.6% average return per CPHD recommendation.

Overall, Zarak Khurshid has a 72% success rate recommending stocks and an +11.6% average return per recommendation.

On average, the top analyst recommendation for OvaScience on TipRanks is Strong Buy.

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