New York, NY (PressExposure) May 17, 2011 -- Synergy Pharmaceuticals, Inc., (SGYP.PK), whose treatment for chronic constipation or constipation - predominant irritable bowl syndrome is in late-stage development, has been given significant assessments from two investment analyst in reports released in the last few days.
* In a report issued Friday, May 13, Morgan Joseph said Synergy is worth $15 a share (the stock was at $4.42 at midday Monday, May 16) -- and suggested it could rise near $45.
* In a report released Thursday, May 12, Duncan-Williams said Synergy could be an attractive acquisition for gastroenterology drug developer Salix Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SLXP), whose management indicated it is capable of doing large transactions in the $2 B to $2.5 B range.
The market for Synergy's lead drug candidate, plecanatide, numbers an estimated 100 million people worldwide who suffer from constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome or chronic constipation.
Placanatide is a member of the new class of non-system drugs, referred to as GC-C receptor agonists, for treatment of chronic constipation, irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) and GI diseases.
When Synergy announced the results of its Phase 11a clinical trial last year, Gary S. Jacob, PH.D., President and CEO of Synergy, cited the "superb safety profile" that plecanatide exhibited in the trial -- "there was a complete absence of reported diarrhea."
The Morgan Joseph report said Synergy's plecanatide "is a substantially risk-mitigated asset" because of the absence of diarrhea and reported the drug is basically the same as linaclotide developed by Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, except that linaclotide caused diarrhea.
In a Merrill Lynch report by research analyst Rachel McMinn last October, it was stated that "the mechanism of action of the two drugs (from Synergy and Ironwood) were identical." The difference, however, was that Synergy's clinical trial did not produce the side effect of diarrhea that the Ironwood drug reported, according to the Merrill Lynch assessment.
The Morgan Joseph report suggested its $15 price target for Synergy may be far short of its true value, and added:
"We would note that, if plecanatide were to be valued similar to linaclotide, the implied price per share of Synergy stock would approach $45, without considering Synergy's pipeline."
The Duncan-Williams report said Salix is actively looking at acquisition opportunities, with "an interest in chronic constipation/IBS-C products."
The report added it had identified two companies with late stage drug candidates in this area, one of which is Synergy, and it added: "Synergy...is entering a large registrational chronic constipation trial later in the year following robust data in Phase 2."
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