Synergy Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SGYP) has inched a little higher since I last reviewed the company, climbing a little less than 10% over a time when biotechs in general have declined (as measured by the iShares Biotechnology Index (NASDAQ:IBB) and SPDR Biotech ETF (NYSEARCA:XBI)). On the other hand, Synergy's closest comp, Ironwood (NASDAQ:IRWD) has risen close to 40%.
Synergy remains an interesting biotech opportunity to me, but I think the company has a lot of work to do to reassure the Street that it can really compete on its own in the market and gain real share once its lead drug plecanatide hits the market. Without a large partner (Ironwood has Allergan (NYSE:AGN) and Nektar (NASDAQ:NKTR) has AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) selling its OIC drug Movantik), I think a lot of investors fear that Synergy will never manage to break through and could find it in a situation like XenoPort did with its restless leg drug. I believe there are some key differences between those situations, though, and while I do worry that Synergy's plecanatide sales may ramp more slowly than its bullish analysts' forecast, I think these shares are worth more than $9 on the potential of plecanatide.
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Synergy Pharmaceuticals Getting Closer To 'Go Time'