Wedbush Highlights Upcoming Catalysts In Biotech: XOMA Corp (XOMA), Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc (ICPT), Omeros Corporation (OMER)

Wedbush analyst Liana Moussatos published a new list of upcoming catalysts for a variety emerging pharmaceuticals, including XOMA Corp (NASDAQ:XOMA), Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ICPT), and Omeros Corporation (NASDAQ:OMER). Below are highlights from the report.


XOMA Corp will post second quarter 2015 earnings results on Thursday, August 6, after market close. XOMA’s pipeline drug is called Gevokizumab, used to treat Behcet’s uveitis; an inflammatory disease commonly found in the eye.

Xoma Corp recently posted results from its Phase 3 EYEGUARD-B trial in mid-July. The trial tested Gevokizumab, though ultimately failed to meet its primary endpoint.

Despite missing the trial’s primary endpoint, Liana Moussatos reiterates an Outperform rating on XOMA with a $13 price target, citing that “Gevokizumab still holds plenty of value.” The analyst believes that EYEGUARD-A and EYEGUARD-C “may be better designed for success since both Phase 2 trials had treatment designs and every patient responded to a single dose.”

Enrollment for the EYEGUARD-A and EYEGUARD-C is expected to be complete within the next few months. Moussatos expects data from these trials to be released by the end of 2015.

With that said, the analyst projects “gross peak annual sales for Gevokizumab in ACS, non-infectious anterior scleritis, and neutrophilic dermatoses could reach almost $1.4 billion in 2022 after initial launches in 2017 for NIU and neutrophilic dermatoses.”

Out of 7 analysts polled by TipRanks, only 1 analyst is bullish on Xoma Corp and 6 are neutral. The average 12-month price target for Xoma is $5.25, marking an overwhelming 581.82% potential upside from where the stock last closed. On average, the all-analyst consensus for XOMA is Hold.

Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc

Intercept Pharmaceuticals is slated to post second quarter 2015 earnings results on Wednesday, August 5, after market close. The company primarily develops drugs to treat liver disease. Its flagship pipeline drug is called Obeticholic acid, or OCA, and is used to treat patients with the liver disease PBC.

Intercept completed a New Drug Application for OCA in PBC in June 29 of this year and has received Fast-Track designation in the United States and Orphan Drug designation in both the U.S. and Europe. The FDA is expected to review the NDA within the next month.

Moussatos reiterates an Outperform rating on Intercept Pharmaceuticals with an acquisition value of $493, noting that “1) clinical success [for OCA in PBR] appears likely; 2) regulatory risk appears reasonable and continues to decline—especially with FDA granting Breakthrough Therapy Designation; and 3) commercial risk is below average.” The analyst believes “PBC remains the lead program and is a relatively well defined orphan market with a clear unmet medical need.” If OCA is approved, Moussatos notes, “the barriers to commercial adoption will be relatively low as many patients have been identified and are receiving treatment.”

Additionally, Moussatos sees “upside potential to [her] estimates of the eligible patient population as well as pricing.” She also sees “significant upside potential beyond PBC from follow-on indications such as PSC, portal hypertension, NASH and bile-acid diarrhea.”

Out of 11 analysts polled by TipRanks, 8 analysts are bullish on Intercept Pharmaceuticals and 3 are neutral. The average 12-month price target for Intercept is $399.82, marking a 54.01% potential upside from where the stock last closed. On average, the all analyst consensus for ICPT is Moderate Buy.

Omeros Corporation

Omeros Corporation will announce second quarter 2015 financial earnings on Monday, August 10, after market close. The report will likely center around the company’s pipeline drug, Omidria, used to dilate pupils during cataract or other IOL replacement surgery, which was recently approved for commercialization in the EU, Iceland, Lichtenstein, and Norway.

Moussatos reiterates an Outperform rating on Omeros with a price target of $61. The analyst comments the company’s advancement of its “broad pipeline of inflammation and neurological treatment candidates ranging in development stage from FDA approved OMIDRIA™ to Phase 2 to preclinical” as well as the company’s “ability to generate in-house new drug candidates from their state-of-the-art drug discovery platforms, which strengthens their intellectual property.”

Furthermore, the Moussatos believes “[Omeros] has reduced pipeline risk through diversification.” Specifically, she points to late-stage clinical candidate OMIDRIA™ (OMS302), which the analyst notes “has successfully completed two Phase 3 clinical trials [and] was approved by the FDA on May 30, 2014 and…by the EMA in August 2015.” Moussatos projects “gross peak annual sales [of OMIDRIA] could reach about $659 million.”

Out of 2 analysts polled by TipRanks, both are bullish on Omeros Corp. The average 12-month price target for Omeros is $49.50, marking a 210.93% potential upside from where the stock last closed. On average, the all-analyst consensus for OMER is Strong Buy.

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