AMRN stock is likely going to rise after AstraZeneca (AZN) said that it is closing a Phase 3 clinical trial of a fish-oil-derived heart drug, Epanova, after an independent Data Monitoring Committee concluded it was unlikely to demonstrate a benefit to patients.
Roth Capital analyst Yasmeen Rahimi maintained a Buy rating and $31 price target on Amarin (AMRN) following the failures of two competitors to Amarin’s Vascepa which are the discontinuation of AstraZeneca’s (AZN) Epanova trial and the negative TRIOLOGY 1 data from Acasti Pharma’s (ACST) CaPre. This leaves Vascepa as the go-to omega-3 product and eliminates the central bear case against Amarin.
Stifel analyst Derek Archila expects shares of Amarin (AMRN) to be up today on news that AstraZeneca (AZN) discontinued Epanova’s STRENGTH cardiovascular outcomes trial given the low likelihood it would demonstrate a cardiovascular benefit. While the STRENGTH study had a low probability of a positive outcome, its failure “no doubt reinforces the importance” of the pure eicosapentaenoic acid hypothesis and Vascepa’s REDUCE-IT results, Archila tells investors in a research note. In addition, Acasti Pharma (ACST) reported that its Phase 3 TRILOGY 1 study results for its lead candidate, CaPre, in patients with hypertriglyceridemia failed, Archila points out. He notes that this program was also viewed as a potential competitor to Amarin’s Vascepa. The analyst believes that with both of these failures, investor fears over near-to-medium term branded competition to Vaspeca should subside. Archila still has a Hold rating on Amarin with a $28 price target.
On January 10, 2020, Roth Capital analyst Yasmeen Rahimi says Amarin’s continued news flow in early 2020, especially around approval of Vascepa by Health Canada and this week’s continued strong guidance update, marks strong execution by the Amarin team as it keeps focused on U.S. commercialization in 2020. With a broad label in Canada that looks similar to FDA approval, Rahimi sees Amarin set up for strong partnership interest in the EU and remaining geographies. The analyst made no change to her Buy rating and $31 price target.
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