4 Biopharma Companies Moving on Monday Ahead of the Presidential Debate
Monday is kicking off a very important week in the markets, with earnings season on the horizon and the first presidential debate later in the evening. Biotech and pharmaceutical companies have been at the forefront of the discussion recently, and a favorite target of Hillary Clinton. Just as she has sent the industry into a panic before by only tweeting about drug pricing, Monday night will offer her a platform to expand on her opinions and beliefs. Who knows where the industry could go from here?
24/7 Wall St. has picked out some of the major companies in the health care sector that are moving ahead of the debate and added in some color for each, as well as a recent trading history, consensus analyst price target, and 52-week range.
Shares of Array BioPharma Inc. (NASDAQ: ARRY) saw a handy gain early in Monday’s session after the company announced top-line results from the first part of its late stage skin cancer trial. Specifically, Array announced its Phase 3 Columbus study evaluating LGX818 (encorafenib), and MEK162 (binimetinib), in unresectable or metastatic melanoma. Looking at the investor reaction, the study met its primary endpoint significantly improving progression free survival (PFS) compared with vemurafenib.
In the analysis of the primary endpoint, the median PFS for patients treated with the combination of encorafenib plus binimetinib was 14.9 months versus 7.3 months for patients treated with vemurafenib HR.
Shares of Array were trading up 41% at $5.15 Monday morning, with a consensus analyst price target of $8.00 and a 52-week trading range of $2.38 to $5.57.
GW Pharmaceuticals PLC (NASDAQ: GWPH) announced positive results its Phase 3 clinical trial of its investigational medicine Epidiolex (cannabidiol) for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a rare and severe form of childhood-onset epilepsy. During the treatment period, patients taking Epidiolex 20mg/kg/day achieved a median reduction in monthly drop seizures of 42% compared with a reduction of 17% in patients taking placebo, and patients taking Epidiolex 10mg/kg/day achieved a median reduction in monthly drop seizures of 37% compared with a reduction of 17% in patients taking placebo.
Shares of GW Pharma were trading up more than 15% at $124.42, with a consensus price target of $136.25 and a 52-week range of $35.83 to $124.86.
A shuffling of the deck was on tap at Exelixis Inc. (NASDAQ: EXEL) as it announced that it appointed a new member to its board of directors. Julie Anne Smith, taking with her nearly two decades of operational leadership experience, has been appointed to the Exelixis board as of September 22. Currently she serves as president and chief executive of Raptor Pharmaceuticals.
Shares of Exelixis were up more than 2% at $15.24, with a consensus price target of $12.67 and a 52-week range of $3.55 to $15.00.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Orphan Drug Designation for ProTmune, the lead product candidate from Fate Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: FATE) that is currently undergoing Phase 1/2 clinical investigation. The FDA designation is for “prevention of graft-versus-host disease in patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation” and broadly covers diseases, including blood cancers and genetic disorders, for which the procedure is performed.
For a little background: graft-versus-host disease is a severe immunological complication that arises when newly transplanted donor immune cells attack the patient’s tissues and organs, resulting in a potentially fatal immune system reaction. Despite the use of protocols to prevent its occurrence, up to 50% of patients experience this disease.
Fate shares jumped more than 6% at $3.66 just after Monday’s opening bell. The consensus price target is $5.60, and the 52-week range is $1.46 to $6.71.