From A(erie) To Z(ynerba): Biotech Catalysts Lined Up For Second Half Of 2017

Between late-stage readouts and regulatory events, the biotech industry has enough second-half catalysts to potentially actualize Cantor Fitzgerald’s investment theses and justify its price targets, according to the firm’s recent note.

The most imminent is Versartis Inc VSAR’s September release of phase 3 data from its somavaratan study, which compares the drug against Pfizer Inc. PFE’s Genotropin in patients with pediatric hormone growth deficiency. Cantor Fitzgerald considers it “achievable” for Versartis to prove non-inferiority, and it projects a 70-percent probability of somavaratan reaching commercialization.

The second catalyst will be bluebird bio Inc BLUE’s December release of initial results from its modified LentiGlobin drug. Cantor Fitzgerald isn’t hopeful for positive outcomes, noting a 15 percent probability of success for the sickle cell treatment.

Related Link: August PDUFA Dates: Biotech Investors Stay Tuned To A Month Of Plenty

At another undetermined date, regulatory advisory committees are expected to meet to discuss the biologics license application for Spark Therapeutics Inc ONCE’s Luxturna and new drug application for Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc AERI’s Rhopressa.

The effects of these will be further compounded by clinical data reports from Abeona Therapeutics Inc ABEO, Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Inc BLCM, Corbus Pharmaceutical Holdings Inc CRBP, Global Blood Therapeutics Inc GBT, Spark Therapeutics Inc, Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals Inc SBPH and Zynerba Pharmaceuticals Inc ZYNE.

The aggregate performances of these players thus far led to a strong first-half for the biotech sector. By the date of publication, iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (ETF) IBB was up 16.5 percent on the year against SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY’s 9.4 percent.

Posted In: biotech sectorCantor FitzgeraldAnalyst ColorBiotechPreviewsFDATop StoriesAnalyst RatingsTrading IdeasGeneral

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