3 Leading Biotech Stocks Releasing Potential Catalyst Data This Week

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One thing that can always drive a biotech stock higher is positive clinical data, and this week some big-time biotech companies could have some very import clinical data releases. A new report from the analysts at RBC breaks down not only what will be released this week, but other salient points that could move the stocks involved.

While much of the clinical data is very technical in nature, the RBC team does try to demonstrate the impact of the releases and the potential results. The research report focuses on biotech leaders Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) and Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ICPT).

Amgen

One the top blue-chip stocks in the biotech world, Amgen reported solid earnings over the past two quarters. Many on Wall Street point to the company’s tremendous pipeline and outstanding forward earnings and revenue capabilities.

The biotech giant will be presenting data at the huge annual American College of Cardiology (ACC) conference in San Diego at an analyst meeting most likely Monday. Amgen will present what is called “pooled” cardiovascular or CV benefit data on OSLER 1 and 2 studies on 6k pts. The RBC team expects positive “trend” results to be released as the Osler 1 already had shown strong CV trend in the Phase 2 studies, which they were surprised got very little attention.

RBC rates the stock at Outperform, with a $175 price target. The Thomson/First Call consensus price target is $176.26. Shares closed trading on Friday at $154.26.

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Biogen Idec

Biogen Idec is another top stock to buy on Wall Street. Many analysts see the company as the most catalyst-rich in the biotech universe, with the most upside versus downside on three specific events this year, including Tysabri SPMS, Alzheimer’s and the continued impressive LINGO Phase 2 data.

The RBC team expects data to be released on Friday at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases that could be huge for the drug that has everybody on Wall Street buzzing. The drug, which is dubbed BIIB-037, is designed to slow the progress of Alzheimer’s in patients by reducing beta amyloid in the brain.

Biogen is rated Outperform at RBC, with a $425 price target. The consensus price target is $403.27, but shares closed above that on Friday at $413.35

Intercept Pharmaceuticals

The company’s lead product candidate, obeticholic acid (OCA), is a bile acid analog and first-in-class agonist of the farnesoid X receptor. OCA is being developed for a variety of chronic liver diseases, including primary biliary cirrhosis, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and primary sclerosing cholangitis. OCA has received breakthrough therapy designation from the FDA for the treatment of NASH with fibrosis.

The RBC team expects the company to present data Friday at the annual American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and to hold an analyst meeting. They expect a new analysis on the FLINT data from a trial of a treatment for liver disease that has proven effective in previous trials last year.

The RBC rating for the stock is Outperform/Speculative, with a price objective of $350. The consensus target stands at a gigantic $410.53. Shares closed Friday at $281.38.

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Clearly these stocks are only suitable for aggressive growth accounts with a high risk tolerance. That said, they are all solid holdings for the near and long term, and Intercept could very well be a takeover candidate.