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Today's Research Reports on Stocks to Watch: Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Aeterna Zentaris

NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / July 20, 2017 / Both Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Aeterna Zentaris saw their share prices pop on Wednesday and received price target increases from Maxim. Vertex stormed ahead after announcing positive trial results from its Phase 1/2 trials where a three-drug cocktail saw a 9.6% measure in lung function in cystic fibrosis patients. Wall Street would have considered anything higher than 2.5% a big success. Aeterna also saw huge gains after announcing that the FDA has accepted its new drug application for approval for Macrilen, which treats adult growth hormone deficiency.

RDI Initiates Coverage on:

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated

Aeterna Zentaris Inc.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated's shares closed up 20.83% on Wednesday and hit a new high of $167.00 in intraday trading. The big jump came after the company announced encouraging results from Phase 1/2 trials for a three drug cocktail for cystic fibrosis. Maxim analyst Jason McCarthy kept a "buy" rating on the stock but increased his price target from $143 to $195. He noted, "The FEV1 improvements are the best we have seen, better than Kalydeco, Orkambi and tez/iva. Vertex is poised to unlock up to 90% of the CF (cystic fibrosis) market.." He also stated, "Based on the triple combination(s), we have increased the market share in the heterozygote populations as well as expanded the number of eligible patients as we assume that triple combos will be effective in additional compound mutation types. With a 10% discount rate, the net effect is our price target increases to $195."

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Aeterna Zentaris Inc.'s shares skyrocketed on Wednesday, closing up 129.41%. The stock was one of the most active stocks traded on the NASDAQ with over 61 million shares traded. Average volume for the stock is less than 300,000 shares. So why the big move? A favorable FDA ruling on Macrilen, a novel orally-active ghrelin agonist that is used in treatment for growth hormone deficiency in adults. The biotech company announced late Tuesday that the FDA has accepted the company's new drug application (NDA) that seeks approval of Macrilen as a "complete response." CEO David Dodd commented, "We remain confident that the FDA will approve our NDA and, therefore, we are moving forward with our preparations to launch the product in the first quarter of 2018." Following the news, analyst Jason Kolbert of Maxim reiterated a "buy" rating on the stock and increased its price target from $2.00 to $4.00. Kolbert stated, "If approved, Macrilen would be the only FDA-approved drug for the assessment of AGHD (Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency). As a reminder, the only test used for AGHD, the insulin tolerance test (ITT), is difficult to perform and has significant risks for the patient. Macrilen is a safer test than ITT and can be repeated with accuracy multiple times. Macrilen could become the new standard for addressing AGHD and be rapidly adopted by physicians." Despite the huge gains yesterday, shares of Aeterna are still down 35% YTD.

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Our Actionable Research on Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ: VRTX) and Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: AEZS) can be downloaded free of charge at Research Driven Investing.

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