4 Hot Analyst Reads For Monday, May 14th

We preview four possible market moving analyst takes on small biotech concerns to start the trading week

Today, we are going to look at four small cap biotech/biopharma concerns that were singled out by analysts in recent days.

Let’s start with Dynavax Technologies (DVAX) whose shares rose nearly 20% in trading last week. One thing helping the stock’s rally was an upgrade from JPM Morgan who moved the shares from Market Perform to Overweight and also raised its price target from $25 to $27. Morgan’s analyst cited the company's TLR9 agonist ‘SD-101’ as an undervalued asset. Dynavax will be presenting a data abstract on this biologic which is being paired with Merck’s (MRK) blockbuster Keytruda in a couple of studies against various forms of cancer at the big American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago during the first week of June.

Next up is Synergy Pharmaceuticals (SGYP) which managed to rise 15% in trading Friday despite poorer than expected sales of its recently approved drug Trulance. Management is seen to be becoming under more shareholder pressure to do a partnership deal or outright sale. This view is echoed by a five-star ranked (TipRanks) analyst over at Canaccord Genuity who on Friday reiterated his Buy rating and whopping $13 price target. Among snippets from his glowing take on the company was this

"We would expect Synergy to make the best strategic decision to enhance shareholder value, which could involve an outright sale of the company, a US partnership, ex-US partnership, or other path forward"

Cantor Fitzgerald ($6 price target) and H.C. Wainwright ($7 price target) also have reissued Buy ratings since Synergy's first quarter results hit late last week.

Wedbush upgraded Voyager Therapeutics (VYGR) to an Outperform rating with a $28 price target on Friday. This helped the shares post a better than eight percent rally to close the week. Despite the rise, the stock is down by more than a third from recent highs. As mentioned in our 'Week Ahead' piece this weekend, the company is presenting mid-stage trial data around its primary drug candidate against advanced Parkinson's disease at the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy conference on Wednesday of this week. Positive data could propel a further rise in the shares. Wedbush's analyst stated this recent sell-off in the stock made the risk/reward profile of the shares 'more favorable'.

Finally, we have CAR-T concern Sorrento Therapeutics (SRNE). H.C. Wainwright reiterated a new Buy rating and whopping $40 price target (the shares currently go for ~$7.50) on the stock this morning. Friday, Oppenheimer assigned a new Outperform rating with a more pedestrian $10 price target on SRNE. Oppenheimer had this to say about the company

"Thursday, Sorrento reported 1Q results and we recently went on the road with management. Sorrento has prioritized development of its cancer cell therapy pipeline with emphasis on its CD38 CAR-T for multiple myeloma (MM), which could generate early data by the end of the year. Sorrento’s immuno-oncology franchise is deceptively deep; in addition to two clinical-stage CAR-T programs, the company has taken great strides to reduce CAR-T development timelines. Over the next 12-18 months, we expect the company to begin reaping the benefits of next-gen technologies including virus-free CAR-T manufacturing and off-the-shelf products based on gamma/delta T-cells that may reward patient investors. Offsetting some of the expense, Sorrento plans to commercialize its ZTlido beginning in 2H18. Reiterate Outperform, $10 PT. "

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Bret Jensen, Founder

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