Chelsea Therapeutics International Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHTP) is finding a serious victory from its hypotension drug. Shares hit a 52-week high — make that a three-year high — after the company confirmed an accelerated FDA approval of its Northera for the treatment of low blood pressure, following FDA panel backing just last month.
Two brokerage firms have issued positive notes on the company as a result. Deutsche Bank raised its price target to $8, but Needham & Co. raised its price target all the way to $10.
What is really driving the gain here in Chelsea is that Northera was the first new treatment option for hypotension of this sort in almost two decades. Chelsea also called it the first and only FDA-approved therapy that demonstrated symptomatic benefits in patients with NOH.
Chelsea is targeting a launch in the United States during the second half of this year. Norepinephrine deficiency comes with an inability to maintain adequate blood pressure and blood flow to the brain when upright. This can create dizziness, light-headedness, blurred vision, fatigue, poor concentration and fainting episodes.
Perhaps the biggest driver is that this disorder is said to affect between 80,000 and 150,000 individuals in the United States. Chelsea is a pre-revenue stage company as of now, but that is about to change. The company even hired a chief commercial officer at the end of January in anticipation of this launch, and it also named its interim chief executive officer as its permanent CEO.
While Chelsea’s last balance sheet showed only $20.88 million in cash, the company recently raised about $20 million to help fund the approval stage and launch of Northera.
Investors are cheering the news, as the stock was up a sharp 32% at $6.55 in mid-morning trading. The 52-week range is $1.17 to $6.83, and the post-pop market cap is listed as $461 million.