Healthcare Business

4 Speculative Biotech and Biohealth Analysts Calls for Huge Upside

Jon C. Ogg

Rigel Pharmaceuticals

On July 13, Rigel Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: RIGL) was started with a Buy rating and its price target was set at $6 at H.C. Wainwright. Rigel previously closed at $2.26, but it ended the week at $2.18. Its 52-week trading range is $1.88 to $3.68, and the consensus analyst price target is $7.25.

This biotech outfit has multiple preclinical and Phase 1, 2 and 3 drug studies going and has a mere $200 million market cap. One real risk for Rigel is that fostamatinib is involved in three different target studies. That means that any hiccup in one study may discourage or overshadow upside views on other indications.

Spark Therapeutics

Spark Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ONCE) was started with an Outperform rating and given a $70 price target at RBC Capital Markets on July 12. This call implied upside of close to 30% from the prior closing price of $54.47. Selling pressure during the week brought shares to a $53.08 close on Friday, and that would imply a potential upside of 32%, if RBC’s price target is hit. Spark Therapeutics has a 52-week range of $21.20 to $71.75 and a market cap of $6 billion.

Note that the consensus analyst target is only $59.60, but there is a street high analyst target north of $90. Spark targets one-time cures and treatments for rare genetic diseases. Its SPK-RPE65 is in Phase 3 clinical trial for the treatment of genetic blinding conditions. While it will target (and has received) orphan drug designations, targeting rare genetic diseases is often difficult and the price tags can come with sticker shock that may bring oversight or political backlashes.


On July 12, Rodman & Renshaw started TearLab Corp. (NASDAQ: TEAR) with a Buy rating. It was assigned a $2 price target, over 200% higher than the $0.62 prior closing price. The market cap here is tiny at a mere $41 million, but TearLab has a 52-week trading range of $0.58 to $3.03.

Its target is dry eye disease, which can be very lucrative but is also a competitive target. TearLab develops and markets lab-on-a-chip technologies for eye care practitioners to test for dry eye disease markers at the point of care. Its TearLab Osmolarity Test diagnoses dry eye disease.