Healthcare analysts are weighing in on molecular diagnostics firm TrovaGene Inc (NASDAQ:TROV), pharmaceutical company Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:KERX), and mological drug maker OHR Pharmaceutical Inc (NASDAQ:OHRP), as the stocks turned extremely volatile following CEO departure, positive top line trial data and SPA agreement with the FDA, respectively.
TrovaGene shares are falling nearly 9% Tuesday, after the company announced the termination of CEO Dr. Antonius Schuh and CFO Mr. Stephen Zaniboni. The company has filed a complaint for breach of fiduciary duty against Dr. Schuh and Mr. Zaniboni in the Superior Court of the State of California.
Cantor analyst Bryan Brokmeier was the first to comment: “Although Chairman of the Board Dr. Thomas Adams has assumed the role of Interim CEO, we anticipate a relatively short CEO search, particularly given the potential to fill the post with Chief Commercial Officer, Matt Posard, who has been a key decision maker for the company since joining from ILMN last year. Assuming a suitable choice is made, we believe that the differentiated approach to cancer detection and monitoring offered by TROV’s urine-based technology positions it to be a key player in the cancer diagnostics market.”
Furthermore, “TROV alleges that Dr. Schuh and Mr. Zaniboni took personal ownership interest in a “lucrative corporate opportunity” concerning new therapeutics in the field of precision medicine instead of presenting that opportunity to the company. While the opportunity from the lawsuit is unclear, the complaint asks that Dr. Schuh and Mr. Zaniboni be required to turn over their interests in these new therapeutics to TROV.”
Brokmeier reiterated a Buy rating on shares of TrovaGene with a $10 price target, which represents a potential upside of 119% from where the stock is currently trading.
According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Bryan Brokmeier has a yearly average return of 5.5% and a 55% success rate. Brokmeier has a 21% average return when recommending TROV, and is ranked #652 out of 3814 analysts.
Out of the 5 analysts polled by TipRanks, 4 rate TrovaGene stock a Buy, while 1 rates the stock a Hold. With a return potential of 152%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $11.50.
Keryx shares jumped nearly 13% today after the company disclosed positive top-line results from its pivotal iron deficiency anemia label-expansion trial of ferric citrate in non-dialysis-dependent CKD patients.
However, Cowen analyst Boris Peaker remains cautious, reiterating a Market Perform rating on the stock following the news.
Peaker commented, “While we believe ferric citrate approval for the treatment of IDA is likely, commercial uptake and adoption remain uncertain. Keryx has no plans to change Auryxia’s bottling or SKUs. Auryxia’s current WAC is $918 for 200 tablets and patients in the IDA study were treated with an average of 5 pills a day, which translates to an annual cost of roughly $8,000/patient. The IDA label expansion represents a market which is nearly double the size of Auryxia’s current market in CKD dialysis patients. While that may be a positive in the long-term, in the near-future we may see payer pushback given the lack of long term outcome data for pre-dialysis treatment with a potent oral iron.”
According to TipRanks.com, analyst Boris Peaker has a yearly average return of 10.7% and a 41% success rate. Peaker has a 43.2% average return when recommending KERX, and is ranked #291 out of 3814 analysts.
Out of the 12 analysts polled by TipRanks, 6 are bullish on Keryx stock, 4 are neutral, and 2 remains bearish. With a return potential of 75%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $8.80.
OHR Pharmaceutical Inc
OHR Pharmaceutical announced today that the FDA awarded the company a SPA on the design of the Phase 3 program for OHR-102, a topical treatment for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD). OHR shares reacted to the news, rising 20% to $3.41 on volume of 1,44 million shares, making it among the top winners today.
In reaction, Brean Capital analyst Jonathan Aschoff reiterated a Buy rating on shares of OHR Pharmaceutical, with a price target of $30, which implies an upside of 823% from current levels.
Aschoff observed, “Under the SPA, Ohr has commenced the first of two planned Phase 3 trials in wet AMD, on track with the target timeline. Ohr outlined how lesion size affects treatment outcome with OHR-102 in wet AMD and thus has incorporated this patient selection criteria into its trial design. The total cost of the program should be in the $100 million range. The first Phase 3 trial plans to enroll about 650 treatment naïve wet AMD patients across 165 sites in the US and Canada. The primary efficacy endpoint is the change in visual function at nine months. This trial will administer OHR-102 twice daily with monthly Lucentis injections.”
The analyst continued, “Ohr had about $25.3M in cash at YE15. With a large Phase 3 program now underway, Ohr continues to engage in partnership talks for OHR-102, a potential source of non-dilutive financing as well as an R&D commitment to fund up to the entire Phase 3 program. We also look forward to results from a small wet AMD trial examining OHR-102 with fixed monthly Lucentis dosing, which is how Lucentis will be given in Phase 3, by contrast to Phase 2 Lucentis PRN dosing.”
According to TipRanks.com, Aschoff has a yearly average return of -14% and a 31% success rate. Aschoff has a -30% average return when recommending OHRP, and is ranked #3729 out of 3814 analysts.
Out of the 3 analysts polled by TipRanks, 2 rate OHR Pharmaceutical Inc stock a Buy, while 1 rates the stock a Hold. With a return potential of 546.2%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $21.