Wedbush Starts Ascendis Pharma (ASND) at Outperform
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Wedbush initiates coverage on Ascendis Pharma (NASDAQ: ASND) with a Outperform rating and a price target of $34.00.
Analyst Liana Moussatos commented, "We believe Ascendis' TransCon technology platform creates unique sustained-release (SR) prodrug candidates that reduce treatment burden and regulatory hurdles while retaining composition-of-matter IP. Weekly-dosed TransCon human Growth Hormone (hGH) is the lead candidate in Phase 3 after achieving a best-in-class profile in Phase 2."
She added, "We believe the TransCon platform creates best-in-class candidates and can be applied to many approved drugs. Unlike other sustained-release technologies, TransCon can convert small molecules, peptides and proteins into prodrugs, then release the unmodified approved parent drug for days to months while retaining its approved profile. Less frequent dosing reduces patient burden and the improved compliance also improves real-world efficacy. By qualifying for the FDA 505(b)(2) and EMA bioequivalence pathways clinical and regulatory risks are reduced in our view. In addition, the prodrug is a new chemical entity (NCE) and provides strong intellectual property including composition of matter."
They expect TransCon hGH to be a market leader, a > $1BN market opportunity.
Shares of Ascendis Pharma closed at $19.63 yesterday.
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