Jefferies Raises Price Target On This Small-Cap 'Stand Out' Biotech Stock

  • Ardelyx Inc ARDX shares are trading higher after Jefferies upgraded shares to Buy from Hold and raised the price target on the stock to $5 from $1.
  • Analyst Chris Howerton thinks Ardelyx "stands out" given that the Company has an approved IBS-C product, Isbrela, that will launch in April and whose commercial opportunity is validated by Linzess and Trulance.
  • Ironwood Pharmaceuticals Inc IRWD and AbbVie Inc's ABBV Linzess achieved $1 billion in sales in 2021, while Salix Pharmaceuticals' Trulance achieved over $100 million in 2021 sales, Howerton noted. 
  • He estimates peak Ibsrela IBS-C sales around $300 million.
  • Also See: Citi, Ladenburg React Positively On Ardelyx's IBS-C Treatment Launch Plans.
  • While Howerton contended Ibsrela alone could make Ardelyx profitable, he expects the appeal decision for tenapanor by April. He sees tenapanor's potential in hyperphosphatemia as "a free call option for the stock." 
  • The analyst noted that Tenapanor's appeal was denied by the Office of Cardiology, Hematology, Endocrinology, and Nephrology. 
  • OCHEN provided Ardelyx with a potential path forward for a narrower label in the appeal denial letter. 
  • Ardelyx will now appeal to the Office of New Drugs, and if the appeal is accepted, a decision will be made in April 2022, Howerton added.
  • Price Action: ARDX shares are up 20.2% at $0.87 during the market session on the last check Wednesday.
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