Analysts Weigh In on Exelixis' Approval Decision (Updated) Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Monday, 26 November 2012 15:46
icon_PriceTargetsAccording to a published Bloomberg First Word survey, which sought the opinions of physicians and four analysts, the medullary thyroid cancer candidate Cabozantinib from Exelixis, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXEL) which faces an FDA PDUFA decision date on November 29th is likely to get approved.

Formerly known as XL184, Cabozantinib, is said to work by blocking signaling that leads to cancer growth as well as blocking the growth of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) that help to feed a tumor. After approval, the drug could be used "off-label" to treat other cancers.

Analysts from four large firms who have been following the story list the odds for Cabozantinib's approval as follows:

  • Lazard at 75 percent to 85 percent
  • Piper Jaffray at 80 percent
  • Jefferies at 80 percent, and
  • Cowen at 70 percent

Published reports have Holtorf Medical Group's Dr. Kent Holtorf stating that the clinical data looked "very reassuring" and more promising for patients than any other alternatives. He notes that it will be exciting for physician's, which will now be able to offer something to patients upon approval.

While Piper Jaffray's Ed Tenthoff warns that investors might try to sell the news following the FDA decision this week, Lazard's Ryan Martins sees Exelixis at $6 to $7 upon approval, or $4 to $5 if rejected.

Exelixis shares traded mostly sideways during today's mixed market, but have seen a surge in recent weeks leading up to this decision.

Update: Lazard's biotechnology analyst is Ryan Martins

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