The Street is rattling today as Microbot Medical Inc (NASDAQ:MBOT) shareholders went into a buying commotion today following exciting patent news, Argos Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ARGS) investors conversely were sent scrambling amid what looks to be the end of a crucial Phase 3 study, and Internap Corp (NASDAQ:INAP) stock nicely surged forward on back of a common private equity placement announcement. Let’s take a closer look:
Microbot Medical Captivates Investor Attention with New Patent
Microbot Medical shares are skyrocketing almost 55% after news broke that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a Notice of Allowance for a strategic technology patent. Specifically, the patent covers a device for the prevention of shunt stenosis. For the medical device company that specializes in the design and development of transformational micro-robotic medical technologies, this is a significant gain.
Two of MBOT’s device inventors are also the company’s co-founders: Harel Gadot, CEO, President, and Chairman, as well as Professor Moshe Shoham, Head of the Robotics lab at the Technion- Israel Institute of Technology and one of the members of the Board of Directors as well as the Scientific Advisory Board. In accordance with the exclusive license agreement between MBOT and the Technion, the patent rights will be covered as a joint patent, with the company’s most recent patent covering systems and methods for reducing venous stenosis associated with the use of hemodialysis shunts.
Gadot asserts, “We continue to focus on strengthening our unique intellectual property (IP) assets. The patent allowance issued to Microbot by the USPTO further protects our medical devices for the prevention of shunt stenosis and will enhance our future positioning within the shunt market,” adding, “We intend to continue to strengthen our IP as we grow our transformational micro-robotic technologies to treat and diagnose serious medical conditions as well as improve and extend the quality of life for the patients suffering from those conditions.”
Argos Therapeutics Takes the Plunge
Argos shares are plummeting roughly 68%, a steep drop, on back of the reveal that the Independent Data Monitoring Committee advises to pull the plug on the immune-oncology-focused biotech firm’s pivotal study for metastatic renal cell carcinoma treatment.
To add insult to injury, this was a late-stage Phase 3 trial that opened in January 2013, having completed enrollment by July 2015; one that unfortunately the IDMC pinpoints as not likely to beat the odds for reaching statistical significance.
The ADAPT study has been evaluating rocapuldencel-T in combination with sunitinib/standard-of-care for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). For context, Rocapuldencel-T is an individualized immunotherapy designed to capture mutated and variant antigens specific to each patient’s tumor and to induce an immune response targeting that patient’s tumor antigens.
Yet, when considering the interim data evaluation, though the committee found rocapuldencel-T to be well-tolerated aas a whole, the trial’s probability of achieving statistical significance in overall survival seems to be the weak link.
For ARGS President and CEO Jeff Abbey, the closing of the trial is a setback he does not take lightly. “We are extremely disappointed with these results, which included seventy-five percent of the targeted events needed to permit the primary analysis and assessment of overall survival in the study,” notes Abbey, continuing, “We sincerely appreciate the patients and investigators who have participated in the ADAPT Phase 3 trial, and remain convinced in the ability of precision immunotherapy to improve the lives of patients.”
TipRanks analytics exhibit ARGS as a Buy. Out of 3 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 2 are bullish on Argos stock and 1 remains sidelined. With a return potential of nearly 1,159%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $18.00.
Internap Corp Scores Two Wins in Common Equity Private Placement and Guidance
Internap shareholders are out celebrating today on back of news that the data center hosting firm has issued a private placement of roughly 23.8 million shares of its common stock, at $18.1 per share, for collective gross proceeds circling $43 million. Considering these funds can help towards relieving debt burdens, shares in reaction accelerated 29%.
From the eyes of CEO and President Peter Aquino, his company is moving right on track, as he believes, “The confidence demonstrated by our investors in the future of INAP is extremely motivating to the entire management team as we continue our comprehensive operations improvement initiative… The speed with which our new team is moving to right-size our business and invest in sales and marketing to capture strong market demand for Colocation and Cloud Services is impressive. The next steps in the 2017 transformation of the new INAP is to approach the market as two pure plays, complete our debt refinancing, and begin to consider strategic opportunities to bolster organic growth.”
To give investors even more cause to cheer, the company released encouraging guidance today, affirming revenue for 2016 expected to hit between $297 and $300 million, adjusted EBITDA to reach $81 to $83 million, as well as capital expenditures to yield towards $47 million to $50 million. Meanwhile, revenue for 2017 was guided to a range of $275 million to $285 million, adjusted EBITDA between $84 and $87 million, and capital expenditures expected at roughly $42 million.
INAP is expected to post its fourth-quarter print for 2016 before market open on Thursday, March 9th. Until then, the firm’s common equity private placement has landed this stock as one of the bulls of the day.
Additionally, Frank Louthan of Raymond James rates a Buy on INAP stock with a $3 price target, which represents a nearly 29% increase from where the stock is currently trading; Daniel Kurnos of Benchmark rates a Buy with a $4 price target, which represents a nearly 72% increase from where the shares last closed; Mark Kelleher of D.A. Davidson rates a Hold without listing a price target; George Sutton of Craig-Hallum rates a Buy with a $3.50 price target, which represents a 50% increase from where the shares last closed; and Barry Sine of Drexel Hamilton rates a Buy with a $5 price target, which represents a nearly 115% increase from where the shares last closed.