4 Hot Analyst Reads For Monday, August 20th

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

Given a choice between goose egg and heartache, I would choose heartache. Santosh Kalwar

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We continue to see low volume in trading, and this trend probably will continue until after the Labor Day weekend. There also continues to be a dearth of M&A activity across the biotech sector but I expect deal volume to show a nice uptick in the fourth quarter. In the meantime, absent positive news, the sector could remain somewhat volatile over the next few weeks.

Here are four small cap stocks seeing notable analyst commentary just before we open a new trading week this Monday.

Aquestive Therapeutics (AQST) gets a new Outperform rating and $29 price target over at JMP Securities this morning. JMP's analyst had this to say about his outlook for the company and stock.

"The benefits of the company's core oral-film-based delivery technology has been validated through multiple successful partnerships and the company is now leveraging it on an internal pipeline of drug candidates. FDA approvals for wholly owned candidates including Libervant and Sympazan are likely over the next 12-18 months"

Jefferies is initiatingLiquidia Technologies (LQDA) with a new Buy rating and $22 price target just before the opening bell today. Here is Jefferies' commentary on the company.

"We see a "high likelihood" of positive INSPIRE phase III data in 1H19, as the primary endpoint is safety at two weeks and the FDA has approved treprostinil four times before. The company's lead program, LIQ861, is an inhalable dry powder version of treprostinil for pulmonary arterial hypertension, a $3.7B market. Following the Phase III data, Liquidia plans to file via the FDA's 505(b)2 pathway referencing Tyvaso, and we model 2026 peak-adjusted U.S. sales of $308M with a 60% probability."

Needham also assigned a new Buy rating and $30 price target on LQDA this morning.

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Selecta Biosciences (SELB) gets a new Buy rating and $30 price target over at Mizuho Securities this morning. Here is Mizuho's synopsis of their positive outlook on the shares.

"We hosted a doc call on 7/25 to discuss Selecta Biosciences SEL-212 gout drug. Our consultant noted some of the main potential advantages of SEL-212 compared to the standard of care. These include an improved treatment regimen with fewer infusions (1x/month) vs. Krystexxa (2x/month) as well as an improved safety profile (Krystexxa: 26% infusion reactions and 5% anaphylaxis rate). These advantages could translate into incremental patients treated and doctors choosing SEL-212 over the standard of care. "

Finally, Citigroup raises its price target ten bucks a share to $50 on The Medicines Group (MDCO) this Monday morning for the following reasons

"The ongoing phase 3 inclisiran trial will be a success and that the drug can take significant share, if approved, because its every 6 month dosing is a significant advantage over current PCSK9s that must be dosed monthly. Sales of the two approved PCSK9 agents are accelerating and believes new cholesterol treatment guidelines will likely further drive longer-term PCSK9 growth."

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

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