Market Overview

Cantor Fitzgerald Never Gave Up On Tobira Therapeutics


Allergan plc Ordinary Shares (NYSE: AGN) has announced the acquisition of Tobira Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: TBRA) for a premium of more than 400 percent. Cantor Fitzgerald’s Elemer Piros downgraded the rating on Tobira from Buy to Hold, while raising the price target from $19 to $42.

“Following the July announcement of results from a Phase 2b NASH study in liver disease, the market gave up on Tobira. We didn't,” analyst Piros commented. He added, however, that the shares were now trading close to the new price target, warranting the downgrade in rating.

Allergan Deal

Allergen has made a cash offer of $28.35 per share, plus a first Contingent Value Right milestone of $13.68 per share, which corresponds to the first patient enrolled in a Phase 3 trial.

Piros wrote, “It is clear that one of the most important aspects of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is the relentless progression of fibrosis to cirrhosis and to liver failure. In its robust 298-patient Phase 2b study Tobira has shown a clear, statistically significant benefit to patients at a relatively early, one-year time point. This singular observation, and failure to achieve it by others, may have compelled Allergan to examine the Tobira package vs. others.”

Another competing bid for Tobira is unlikely at this stage. The analyst added that there was little that could prevent the initiation of a Phase 3 trial in the first half of 2017, especially since cash did not seem to be an issue.

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Latest Ratings for TBRA

Sep 2016Cantor FitzgeraldDowngradesBuyHold
Jul 2016Cantor FitzgeraldInitiates Coverage onBuy
Apr 2016H.C. WainwrightInitiates Coverage onBuy

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