AMRN Amarin: NCE status still likely, but now a non-factor - Aegis Capital (9.70 -2.25)
Aegis Capital notes that yesterday, Amarin announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published notification of a "reasons for allowance" document pertaining to the '520 application, which covers claims relating to the ANCHOR Phase 3 trial patient population (mixed dyslipidemia). They believe this was a critical gating factor for Amarin, since the protection of Vascepa use in the mixed dyslipidemia population convincingly positions the drug as a best-in-class omega-3 fatty acid therapy. They continue to believe that Amarin could still elect to accept an acquisition offer, ink a partnership, or market Vascepa independently. Lastly, they believe that Amarin remains highly likely to receive NCE status for Vascepa; however, they consider this essentially a non-factor since the drug is covered by valid patents, potentially until after 2030. They reiterate a Buy rating and raise their price target to $35 from $25.