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Thromboembolic Risks Linger For Zafgen's Beloranib, Says SunTrust

Manikandan Raman

SunTrust said it hasn't changed its benefit-risk profile for Zafgen Inc (NASDAQ: ZFGN)'s beloranib, citing that thromboembolic risks linger on the obesity drug that showed statistically and clinically significant improvements in body weight and glycemic control in a mid-stage trial.

Related Link: Here's Why Zafgen Gained 20% Thursday Morning

In a note to clients, analyst Edward Nash said he remains concerned on the potential thromboembolic risks, and is unclear of beloranib's benefit-risk profile and more specifically the FDA's view on beloranib's benefit-risk ratio.

Thromboembolism continues to be the focal point for beloranib. Thromboembolism is a condition where a blood clot that has formed inside a blood vessel (or inside the heart) subsequently breaks off, travels through the blood stream and plugs another blood vessel thereby causing organ damage.

With two new cases of thromboembolism from ZAF-203, a total of 11 incidences have been identified across all clinical trials related to beloranib— all from beloranib treatment arms and none from placebo.

"We remain on the sidelines and await more information to properly assess the benefit-risk ratio and greater visibility of beloranib in PWS (Prader-Willi Syndrome)," said Nash who reiterated his Neutral rating and $7 price target on the stock.

At the time of this publication, Zafgen was trading down 1.32 percent on the day at $7.50.

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