4 Hot Analyst Reads For Tuesday, July 17th

A synopsis of recent analyst activity that could buoy these small cap biotech stocks in trading today

I am suspicious of all the things that the average people believes.” ― H.L. Mencken

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Here are four small cap stocks seeing notable analyst commentary just before we open for trading this Tuesday

uniQure (QURE) gets some analyst support after its stocks fell back some 11% in yesterday's weak session for the biotech sector. H.C. Wainwright reiterates their Buy rating on QURE and $42 price target this morning. Wainwright's analyst notes

"that shares of uniQure dropped 11% yesterday after Pfizer (PFE) initiated an "open-label, non-investigational product, multi-center, lead-in study to evaluate at least 6 months of prospective efficacy and selected safety data of factor IX prophylaxis replacement therapy in moderate to severe adult Hemophilia B subjects who are negative for neutralizing antibodies to adeno-associated virus vector-spark100". This has been potentially misconstrued as the initiation of the Phase 3 study, suggesting competitive threats for uniQure earlier than anticipated. However, this is not to be mistaken as a gene therapy Phase 3 program, as there is no gene therapy treatment cohort, the analyst adds. Further, Pfizer's observation study is expected to be completed during November of 2020, which he believes puts uniQure at least a year, if not more, ahead. In addition, the analyst continues to believe that Pfizer is likely to encounter intellectual property headwinds given uniQure's patent asset protecting both the mPadua gene cassette and its method of use to treat hemoglobinopathies."

Late Yesterday, Oppenheimer assigned a new Buy rating and $30 price target on the stock after a nice contract win. Here is Oppenheimer's color behind the rating change

“SPRO was awarded a BARDA contract for the oral carbapenem product candidate (SPR994) for the treatment of complicated urinary tract infections (cUTIs) caused by antibiotic resistant gram-negative bacteria. The BARDA funding amounts to $15.7M, with the potential for up to $28.5M in additional funds over 5 years. Funding will support development in cUTI but also a series of studies to assess efficacy in biodefense threats such as anthrax, plague and melioidosis (conducted by U.S. Army Medical Research Institute). Agency (DTRA) will provide $10M ($1.25M upfront + $8.75M for milestones) for nonclinical biodefense research. The total award may reach $54.2M ($15.7M+$28.5M+$10M) and is a sizable source of non-dilutive funding to support lead asset SPR994 cUTI and potential additional indications.”

Depiction of gram positive and negative bacteria.

Mid-Cap Medical Device maker Illumina (ILMN) that makes machines for sequencing and array-based solutions for genetic analysis, sees its price target raised at Piper Jaffray before the bell today. Jaffray now has a $329 price target on the stock, up from $272 previously. It sees higher sales than the consensus as follows

"Channel checks found 43 NovaSeqs in Q2, which suggests Illumina likely placed 86 in the quarter, in line to slightly higher than the consensus estimate of 84 systems. The analyst believes the company is "rapidly evolving from a stock dominated by the latest instrument release to a multi-faceted growth story." Illumina is "driving market changing approaches, particularly in the clinical space,"

Given the stock currently sells at just over $300, an upward price revision seems overdue.

Yesterday, Spark Therapeutics (ONCE) announced that partner Pfizer (PFE) initiated a Phase 3 study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of current factor IX prophylaxis replacement therapy in the usual care setting. This triggered Cantor Fitzgerald to reissue their Buy rating and $103 price target late yesterday afternoon. Cantor's analyst noted he was "encouraged that the program transfer is on track and he remains bullish on the fidanacogene elaparvovec program"

And those are four small and mid cap concerns seeing recent analyst activity before the market opens this Tuesday. Happy Hunting.

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