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Intercept Pharmaceuticals, CymaBay’s and Viking’s Competitor

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Successful Phase 3 trial

Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT) closed at $80.99 on June 12, 0.90% higher than its previous close, 10.93% above its 52-week low of $73.01, and 39.44% below its 52-week high of $133.74. The stock rose 2.03% on June 11 to $80.27 after competitor CymaBay Therapeutics reported discouraging results for its investigational NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis) therapy, seladelpar.

To date, Intercept is the only company to have announced positive results for a Phase 3 trial evaluating an investigational NASH therapy. On February 19, the company announced positive top-line results for REGENERATE, a Phase 3 trial evaluating the use of obeticholic acid for improving fibrosis caused by NASH.

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Intercept stock rose 6.09% on February 19 to $117.57, but then dropped by 15.77% to close at $99.03 on February 20. This drop may have been due to reports of obeticholic acid’s side effects, which could hinder the drug’s adoption and patient compliance. Intercept plans to apply for regulatory approval of obeticholic acid in the US and Europe in the second half of fiscal 2019.

Analysts’ recommendations and target prices

Most analysts recommend “buy” for Intercept stock. They raised their target price for the stock from $159.40 in March to $160.60 in April, before reducing it to $158.47 in May and then raising it again to $160.22 in June.

Analysts’ current target for Intercept stock implies a 97.83% upside based on its June 12 closing price. Their highest and lowest estimates are $243 and $70. Of the 18 analysts covering Intercept, six recommend “strong buy,” ten recommend “buy,” one recommends “hold,” and one recommends “sell.”

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