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Barry Cohen
Barry Cohen
Articles (208) 

Despite Recent Gains, Mirium Shares Still Rated a Buy

Stock's gain tied to successful meeting with FDA about company's first drug

January 05, 2020 | About:

Mirium Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:MIRM) shares continue to soar, having nearly tripled since mid-December after it had a successful pre-New Drug Application meeting with the Food and Drug Administration regarding Maralixibat, the company’s treatment for pruritus, which is associated with Alagille syndrome.

The stock now trades at more than $23, giving the Foster City, California-based company a market cap of nearly $530 million. Mirium was launched in 2018 with $120 million in Series A funding. Leading the effort was New Enterprise Associates (NEA), followed by Deerfield Management, Frazier, Novo Holdings A/S, Pappas Capital, RiverVest Venture Partners and Rock Springs Capital. The company went public in mid-July, raising $75 million by offering 5 million shares at $15. Its shares have been as low as $6.50 since the offering.

At least one analyst thinks there’s still time to get in on the Mirium party. The Fly reported that Citigroup recently raised its price target from $21 to $30 and rated the stock a buy, as have four other analysts; one has it as a hold.

Pruritus is an unpleasant sensation that provokes the desire to scratch. Alagille syndrome is a genetic disorder that can affect the liver, heart and other parts of the body. The company estimates there are 9,000 cases in the U.S. and 14,000 in Europe.

Maralixibat was given a rare pediatric disease designation, which means the medication will get priority review if the NDA is approved. Medical experts are enthusiastic about the drug’s prospects, according to an article in Invest Million.

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Emmanuel Gonzales, professor of pediatrics at Hospital Bicetre in Paris, said Maralixibat has shown incredible potential and that the data generated from a study of the drug were encouraging for people suffering from severe diseases.

Mirium licensed Maralixibat from Shire, which was purchased by Takeda (NYSE:TAK) about a year ago. As part of the deal, Mirum also obtained the rights to Volixibat, which is being studied as a possible treatment for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, the most severe form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

At the end of the third quarter, a total of seven of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on Mirium. The largest stake was held by Frazier Healthcare Partners, whose more than 11% position is the highest among any stocks in its portfolio.

Disclosure: The author holds no positions in the two stocks mentioned in this article.

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About the author:

Barry Cohen
Barry Cohen has nearly 40 years experience in communications and marketing, the majority in senior positions at large international health care companies, including Abbott Laboratories and Bayer Inc.

He has contributed to a number of financial websites, writing primarily about the stocks of health care companies.

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