BioTuesdays: Ladenburg maintains Ironwood at buy after Synergy results
Ladenburg Thalmann has maintained its “buy” rating and $16 price target on Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IRWD) after Synergy Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SGYP) announced results from the plecanatide Phase 2 trial in patients with chronic constipation (CC).
Ironwood’s drug Linzess was approved by the FDA last August to treat chronic idiopathic constipation and irritable bowel syndrome with constipation in adults. It became available in pharmacies last month.
“We believe plecanatide is an active drug and could become a future competitor to Linzess. However, we don’t believe the data presented so far suggests plecanatide differentiates versus Linzess,” writes analyst Dr. Juan Sanchez.
“We do not believe plecanatide differentiates on efficacy,” Dr. Sanchez said. “In fact, the data presented so far indicates Linzess has greater treatment effect versus placebo on the primary endpoint (with the caveat that comparing across trials is academically wrong).”
Dr. Sanchez said the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) constipation predominant (C) is the most important indication and where drugs differentiate. Linzess has shown a benefit in abdominal pain and data indicates other symptoms such as abdominal discomfort and bloating.
“We believe Linzess has set a relatively high bar in IBS-C,” he pointed out. “Synergy has not generated data in IBS-C for us to handicap the chances plecanatide can match Linzess profile.”