Madrigal Pharmaceuticals releases promising study results, Oppenheimer more than doubles price target

Analysts were impressed by the data from a liver drug study, lifted their rating
Analysts raised the price target to US$300 and added an Outperform rating

Madrigal Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:MDGL) shares doubled Thursday after a study of its misdiagnosed experimental liver drug showed promising results and analysts have taken notice.

Oppenheimer analysts updated its rating to Outperform from Perform, saying that the study data looks “very promising” and lowers the risk of moving into the Phase 3 study.

READ: Madrigal Pharmaceuticals' liver drug study shows positive results, shares more than double

Its drug MGL-3196 treats non-alcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH, a condition in which a build-up of fat in the liver causes inflammation and cell damage. Often called the “silent disease,” it is frequently.

The double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 study included 125 patients over the age of 18 and was conducted across approximately 25 clinical sites in the US.

READ: Small-Cap Snapshot: Madrigal Pharmaceutics shares double, Brink's locks down new acquisition

NASH, one of the fastest-growing diseases in the world, is expected to be the leading cause of liver transplants by 2020, according to the company’s release.

“Considering what we have learned regarding drug exposure and dosing, we believe there is potential to resolve NASH in as little as 9 months in 30-40% of patients receiving only MGL-3196, a well-tolerated once a day oral therapy,” stated CEO Paul Friedman in a press release.

Oppenheimer analysts more than doubled the price target to US$300 from US$130.

Shares of the Pennsylvania-based biopharma were up more than 2.5% to US$272.49 in Friday pre-market trading.

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