Verve Therapeutics: Fighting Bad Cholesterol with a Single Treatment

Are you looking for a biotech stock with growth potential? Verve Therapeutics (VERV) may be of interest to you. The stock looks expensive as it has crushed the benchmark index so far this year, growing more than 120%. So I’m optimistic about the stock, but only if the price were lower.

Verve Therapeutics, headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a biotech developer of innovative treatments for patients with cardiovascular disease.

The company’s main treatment candidate is VERVE-101. It is a single gene editing treatment that blocks the PCSK9 gene in the liver. The medication lowers the concentration of bad cholesterol, and thus also the risk of cardiovascular disease and a heart attack. (See VERV stock charts on TipRanks)

From Q2 2021

In the second quarter of 2021, net loss reached $53 million, or $6.66 per common share. This was worse than the year before, due to higher research and development expenses and higher general and administrative expenses.

The initial public offering of approximately 16.1 million newly issued common stock enabled the company to raise funds, now in cash, and short-term securities, up to $418 million. This should be enough for the development of the pipeline.

Treatment perspectives

Early stage VERVE-101 will treat adult patients with familial hypercholesterolemia, a life-threatening genetic atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Later, the drug will treat patients with various cardiovascular diseases.

According to statistics published by the American College of Cardiology in December 2020, there were 523 million patients with cardiovascular disease in 2019. The number has increased more than twice in the past three decades.

Unlike other similar treatments, VERVE-101 aims for a long-lasting effect over the years with just a single treatment. VERVE-101 also points to more tolerable side effects than conventional treatments such as statins.

These gene-editing treatments are expensive, but they could come at the expense of health care if incorporated into a broader therapeutic program. The drug could be part of a program that addresses key factors of heart disease, such as tobacco and alcohol use, overweight or obesity, sedentary behavior, stress, diabetes, and others.

So this stock has amazing growth potential. Any advancement in the VERVE-101 pipeline can act as a catalyst for the stock price.

Wall Street’s Take

In the past 3 months, four Wall Street analysts have released 12-month price targets for Verve Therapeutics. The Verve Therapeutics average price target is $68.67 each, versus the August 27 closing price of $70.33. The price target implies a decrease of 2.36%. The analyst consensus is a strong buy, based on 3 buy and 1 hold ratings.

Resume

This stock has great potential, as its medication represents an innovative treatment for a worldwide widespread medical condition, which is the most common cause of death.

Verve Therapeutics’ lead product candidate aims to deliver acceptable side effects and long-lasting benefits with just a single course of treatment.

Because the stock is not cheap, investors may want to buy stock when the price floats back the 50-day moving average value of $59.27 each.

Disclosure: At the time of publication, Alberto Abaterusso did not hold any position in any of the securities mentioned in this article.

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