NEW YORK (AP) – A Jefferies & Co. analyst has begun covering Nektar Therapeutics with a “Buy” rating, pointing to its promising drug pipeline.
THE SPARK: Analyst Biren Amin said he expects Nektar’s share price to rise over the next year to 18 months as the company reports new data on the drugs it is developing. He said the most significant for now is naloxegol, a treatment for constipation caused by opioid pain medications, and he said the cancer drug etirinotecan also has promise.
Amin noted that Nektar could also enter marketing partnerships for three other experimental drugs in clinical testing. That would give the San Francisco company more funding and reduce its expenses. He began covering the stock with a price target of $9.50 per share.
Nektar’s drug candidates include naloxegol, etirinotecan – which is being studied as a treatment for breast and ovarian cancer and gastrointestinal cancers – and several pain treatments. The company is studying an infection treatment through a partnership with Bayer HealthCare and a hemophilia drug candidate as part of a partnership with Baxter International Inc. Nektar also helped develop Affymax Inc.’s anemia drug Omontys and MAP Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s migraine drug candidate Levadex.
As part of a 2009 deal with AstraZeneca, Nektar could get as much as $235 million in milestone payments if naloxegol advances through regulatory review and another $375 million if it reaches sales goals.
Date: May 23, 2012
Source: Associated Press