On Jan 6, 2014, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Sucampo
Pharmaceuticals Inc. (
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
Sucampo raised its earnings per share projection for 2013 to
7-12 cents from the previous guidance of reaching break even.
However, its earnings guidance for 2014 - to remain profitable -
On Dec 17, 2013, Sucampo commenced a global, pivotal, phase
III program for Amitiza in pediatric functional constipation. The
phase III program comprises two similarly designed,
well-controlled, pivotal studies. The first part of the study,
which has already begun, is a randomized, placebo-controlled,
double-blind study evaluating the efficacy, safety and
pharmacokinetics of Amitiza in pediatric patients aged 6 to 17
years. The other part will evaluate Amitiza liquid formulation in
patients aged 6 months to below 6 years.
Recently, Sucampo reported data from a phase IIa
proof-of-concept study for the evaluation of an intravenously
administered compound from the company's ion channel activator
program in lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) patients. Data from the
study revealed that patients receiving the ion channel activator
experienced a statistically significant improvement in pain as
compared to placebo. The study also showed improvements (though
not statistically significant) in the primary and other efficacy
measures, including pain associated with quality of life measures
for patients treated with the ion channel activator. In this
study the ion channel activator was well tolerated. On the basis
of the findings from this study, Sucampo intends to initiate an
additional phase IIa study in 2014 to identify the apt endpoints
and dosing regimen for the compound.
The current Zacks Consensus Estimate of 10 cents for 2013 is
within the guidance range provided by Sucampo. For 2014, the
Zacks Consensus Estimate is 39 cents per share. Based on the
positive developments, Sucampo was upgraded to Strong Buy.
Other Stocks to Consider
Other players in the pharma industry, which look attractive at
current levels, include
Lannett Company, Inc.
PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc.
). All three stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
LANNETT INC (LCI): Free Stock Analysis Report
NEKTAR THERAP (NKTR): Free Stock Analysis
SUCAMPO PHARMAC (SCMP): Free Stock Analysis
WUXI PHARMATECH (WX): Free Stock Analysis
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