Protalix Biotherapeutics Inc (NYSEMKT:PLX) shares surged nearly 10% in Friday’s trading session, after Canadian specialty pharmaceutical firm Knight Therapeutics announced that it has acquired 6,200,000 common shares of Protalix at an average price of US$0.57 per share.
Knight now owns approximately 5% of the outstanding common shares of Protalix. The Shares were purchased by Abir Therapeutics, Knight’s wholly-owned Israeli headquartered subsidiary, which owns 28.3% of Medison Pharma, Israel’s third largest pharmaceutical company ranked by revenues. Knight acquired the Shares for investment purposes.
“We purchased this position in Protalix to plant a seed for a long and healthy relationship that hopefully blossoms into Canadian and Israeli product rights to Protalix’s promising pipeline,” said Jonathan Ross Goodman, CEO of Knight. “At a minimum, this will be a GUD investment for Knight. With over $700 million in cash, Knight will continue to grow its portfolio of innovative products for Canada and select international markets, with Abir, supported by our partnership with Medison, leading the charge in Israel.”
On the ratings front, Protalix has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on December 9, Jefferies analyst Peter Welford reiterated a Buy rating on PLX, with a price target of $0.80, which represents a potential upside of 44% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on November 29, H.C. Wainwright’s Ram Selvaraju reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $4.00.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Peter Welford and Ram Selvaraju have a yearly average return of 17.1% and a loss of 5.1% respectively. Welford has a success rate of 67% and is ranked #941 out of 4378 analysts, while Selvaraju has a success rate of 36% and is ranked #4197.
Protalix Biotherapeutics, Inc. engages in the development and commercialization of recombinant therapeutic proteins based on ProCellEx plant cell based expression system. It offers Taliglucerase alfa injections under the brand name Elelyso, an enzyme replacement therapy for Gaucher disease. Its drug candidates also include Oral Glucocerebrosidase for potential treatment of Gaucher disease; therapeutic proteins for Fabry disease, and immune diseases such as rheumatoid, psoriatic and juvenile idiopathic arthritis, ankylosing, spondylitis, and plaque psoriasis; and protein for biodefense and other indications.