Why Fibrogen Shares Are Exploding

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When FibroGen Inc. (NASDAQ: FGEN) released its most recent quarterly results after the markets closed on Monday, it was not the most important news that broke. The firm also updated investors on its mid-stage trial of pamrevlumab in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

24/7 Wall St. hinted that these FibroGen results may be explosive in a recent report from Jefferies that named a few other companies as well. Jefferies only initiated its Buy rating on FibroGen in July. In addition, it was just in mid-July that Goldman Sachs downgraded FibroGen to Neutral from Buy.

In terms of the earnings, FibroGen said that it had a net loss of $0.48 per share and $29 million in revenue, which compared with consensus estimates that called for a net loss of $0.47 per share and $34.8 million in revenue.

However, even though the firm missed on earnings its mid-stage top-line results were still more than enough to cover for it. Peony Yu, M.D., FibroGen’s Chief Medical Officer, commented:

The positive results from this randomized placebo-controlled Phase 2 study build on our previous clinical data which demonstrated the potential of pamrevlumab to slow the progression of IPF with a good safety and tolerability profile. We are conducting further analyses and look forward to presenting additional data from this study in the months ahead. We believe these results support a Phase 3 program in patients suffering from this debilitating and deadly disease.

FibroGen expects to present these and additional results at the upcoming 2017 European Respiratory Society International Congress in September. The company anticipates meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to address the clinical and regulatory path forward for pamrevlumab.

For some quick background on IPF: It is a form of progressive pulmonary fibrosis, or abnormal scarring of the lungs. As the scarring progresses, transfer of oxygen into the bloodstream is increasingly impaired, leading to irreversible loss of lung function as well as high morbidity and mortality rates.

FibroGen shares hit a new 52-week high of $51.45 Tuesday morning. The consensus target price is $43.80, and the 52-week low is $15.60.