Lpath data rumors send investors back for more shares Print E-mail
By David Ibrahim   
Thursday, 01 March 2012 07:06

Interest in Lpath Inc. (LPTN) has been rising along with share prices. The stock closed nearly 7% higher on Thursday and capped off another positive session. 

The emerging biotech had seen considerable interest from biotech investors and speculators before a temporary halt in the company's iSONEP trial was announced in January due to no fault of either Lpath or their clinical partner Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.

The FDA had targeted Formatech, Inc., a vendor/contractor which was providing fill/finish services for two of LPATH's clinical trials and told clinical investigators that LPATH was not in compliance with FDA's current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) requirements during a period in which clinical vials were filled.

On that temporary setback, shares of the company fell back to sub-one dollar levels despite strong investor interest in the fall.

During the past few sessions, un-official rumors that the discarded data from the halted trials was showing significantly positive results woke up the market. As a result the stock has, once again, started to build momentum after some period of consolidation.

Interestingly, there has also been a considerable drop in the short interest in the stock from 1,081,900 positions to the negative last month's to only 236,600 now.

We would keep an eye on LPath as the fundamentals here have not really changed. Lpath still has two ongoing proof-of-concept trials for iSONEP, PEDigree for the treatment of retinal pigment epithelium detachment ("RPE detachment" or "PED") and NEXUS, targeting Wet AMD.

Their lucrative partnership with Pfizer is still very much alive, despite the recent halt. In fact, if the rumors are true, it’s possible that the Big Pharma leader may now be placing an even greater deal of attention and emphasis on the data from Lpath's iSONEP development program. The potential value of the drug candidate,  which appears to be working in similar fashion to Avastin and Lucentis-- both equally effective in treating age-related macular degeneration. In fact, some published data shows that iSONEP has already achieved impressive retinal-thickness reduction in Lucentis-refractory patients. Phase 1 results suggested that iSONEP might “melt away” less mature lesions and that the drug also shrank the lesions as part of a non-overlapping benefit.

With the number of patients being treated for this illness escalating dramatically, the market potential for iSONEP is significant and easily worth billions to Lpath.

Shares are currently trading at -30.71 % from their 52-Wk High of $ 1.40

From a technical analysis perspective, the stock is displaying 14 very short term (1-6 day) bullish indicators and another 14 short term (7-12 day) bullish indicators including noted levels of the:

Bollinger Bands
Chande Momentum Oscillator (CMO)
High Low Bands
Momentum
Negative Volume Index
On Balance Volume
Positive Volume Index
Price Volume Trend
Time Series Moving Average
TRIX
Volume Oscillator
Accumulation Swing Index
Detrended Price Oscillator
Time Series Forecast

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Morgan Joseph, a firm with research analysts who distinguish themselves by zeroing in on quality companies with growth prospects and which often present special situations, initiated coverage on the firm with a "Buy” recommendation and an $8 price target. Many other analysts and writers feel this a biotech stock worth watching in 2012.




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