USB Bancorp upgraded Esperion Therapeutics (ESPR) to outperform.
Analyst Mark Schoenenbaum says the success of ETC-216, a drug that is derived from a protein of the "good cholesterol" known as HDL, represents a major medical breakthrough: unclogging an artery in five weeks. To his knowledge, this is the first drug able to shrink coronary artery plaque in five weeks. He notes Esperion is also conducting trials on two additional HDL-based therapies.
Pfizer has first negotiation rights for ETC-216. Given the success of ETC-216, Schoenenbaum thinks Esperion can now get better economic terms for some other drugs it is currently testing. He raised his price target to $18.