Maxim Weighs in on Biotech Stocks: Sophiris Bio Inc (SPHS), Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. (PSTI), IntelliPharmaCeutics Intl Inc (IPCI)

Maxim Group’s healthcare analyst Jason Kolbert weighed in today with research reports on the Canadian urology company Sophiris Bio Inc (NASDAQ:SPHS), Israeli stem cell company Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:PSTI), and Ontario-based pharmaceutical company IntelliPharmaCeutics Intl Inc (USA) (NASDAQ:IPCI).

Sophiris Bio Inc

Sophiris Bio announced today that the first patients have been dosed in a Phase 2a proof of concept trial of PRX302 as a treatment for localized low to intermediate risk prostate cancer.

In response, analyst Jason Kolbert wrote, “An indication in prostate cancer for PRX302 is a significant opportunity for Sophiris, in addition to BPH (enlarged prostate). The key is that in this study, if PRX302 is destroying PSA-expressing prostate cells we will see it by histology and MRI images…it either works or it doesn’t.” He continued, “Its a large indication and market, just look at Medivation’s Xtandi, and often surgery is the only option, followed by drug therapy. A tumor shrinking therapeutic like PRX302 would be ideal and a more attractive option for men with prostate cancer, potentially avoiding/delaying surgery and improving quality of life.”

The analyst rates Sophiris Bio shares a Buy, with a price target of $4.00, which implies an upside of 352% from current levels.

Pluristem Therapeutics Inc

Earlier this month, Pluristem announced that its PLX cell program in critical limb ischemia (CLI) has been selected for the European Medicines Agency’s Adaptive Pathways pilot project.

Kolbert commented, “The goal of the EU project is to improve timely access for patients to new medicines. It allows for early marketing authorization of a therapy in a restricted patient population, followed by additional assessments and the possibility of later approval for use in broader patient populations. Acceptance of Pluristem’s cells for the treatment of CLI into the Adaptive Pathways project could significantly curtail the time and investment needed to bring this product to market.”

The analyst rates Pluristem shares a Buy, with an $8.00 price target, which represents a potential upside of about 187% from where the stock is currently trading.

IntelliPharmaCeutics announced today that the FDA has reviewed the Company’s request for Fast Track designation for its abuse deterrent Rexista(TM) Oxycodone XR extended-release tablets development program incorporating its Paradoxical OverDose Resistance Activating System (“PODRAS™”) and has concluded that it meets the criteria for Fast Track designation.

Kolbert noted, “This is good news for the platform. Fast Track on PODRAS and no pivotal trials for Rexista. The effect is faster time to the marketplace. We need to review the impact to our model and assumptions, suffice to say skipping pivotal trials and fast track designation are both positive. We expect a partner to be announced prior to approval. IPCI’s own, high margin, brand product with IP represents the transition of this company to something more than a technical supplier of XR generics.”

The analyst rates IntelliPharmaCeutics shares a Buy, with a price target of $7.00, which implies an upside of 106% from current levels.

According to, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Jason Kolbert has a total average return of 1.5% and a 43.1% success rate. Kolbert is ranked #1545 out of 3608 analysts.

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