Healthcare Business

Monday's Top Biopharma Movers

A few biopharma stocks made massive runs on Monday morning. The broad markets are holding near their all-time highs, and part of the run up to this level is attributed to the health care sector. Much of this rally has been the result of the changing outlook on the industry from the new White House administration.

The health care sector was in trouble over the past year, under fire from congressional hearings and politicians on the campaign trail. But 2017 could be different, with a new administration and new perspective that could lead to more positive trials, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals and mergers and acquisitions.

The companies 24/7 Wall St. has picked stood out from the rest on Monday morning. We have included information about each company, as well as recent trading activity and the consensus price target.

Esperion Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ESPR) reported that the FDA recently confirmed that its low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) lowering program is adequate to support approval of an LDL-C lowering indication for bempedoic acid.

The company plans to submit a new drug application (NDA) by the first half of 2019 for an LDL-C lowering indication based on the successful completion of the global pivotal Phase 3 program.

Tim M. Mayleben, president and CEO, commented:

We are very pleased to have achieved clarity from FDA regarding Esperion’s LDL-C lowering development program. Our experienced lipid management team has worked closely with regulatory authorities and our key advisors to achieve this encouraging outcome. We continue to believe that bempedoic acid has the potential to provide physicians with a complementary and convenient oral treatment option that’s cost-effective for their patients with hypercholesterolemia who require additional LDL-C lowering. We remain focused on completing the global pivotal Phase 3 program for bempedoic acid and reporting top-line results from our long-term safety and tolerability study by Q2 2018 and top-line results from our ongoing Phase 3 LDL-C lowering efficacy studies by mid-2018.

Shares of Esperion were trading up just about 50% at $35.85 on Monday, with a consensus analyst price target of $30.90 and a 52-week trading range of $9.40 to $37.16.

Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR) saw its shares jump after it announced positive results from its SUMMIT-07 Phase 3 efficacy study of NKTR-181, a first-in-class opioid analgesic. The clinical trial met the primary endpoint demonstrating significantly improved chronic back pain relief with NKTR-181 compared to the placebo. Key secondary endpoints of the study were also met with high statistical significance.

NKTR-181 is a new chemical entity that is the first full mu-opioid agonist molecule designed to provide potent pain relief without the high levels of euphoria that can lead to abuse and addiction with standard opioids. The FDA has granted the investigational medicine NKTR-181 Fast Track designation for the treatment of moderate to severe chronic pain.

Shares of Nektar were trading up 28% at $19.90, with a consensus price target of $20.00 and a 52-week range of $11.41 to $20.57.

CytomX Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CTMX) has reportedly entered into a partnership agreement with Bristol-Meyer Squibb Co. (NYSE: BMY). CytomX will receive a $200 million upfront payment as part of the deal, and it is eligible to receive up to $448 million in milestone and royalty payments. The collaboration is in place to discover cancer treatments using CytomX’s Probody platform.

Shares of CytomX were last seen up 24% at $18.82. The stock has a 52-week range of $9.10 to $20.02 and a consensus price target of $20.33.

Bristol-Meyers was up slightly 0.4% at $56.52, with a consensus price target of $55.46 and a 52-week range of $46.01 to $77.12.

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