Marinus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNS) Downgraded


A number of analysts have downgraded their rating on the stock of Marinus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNS). That comes after the company reported unsuccessful Phase 3 clinical trial of a drug candidate designed to treat epilepsy.

Marinus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNS) said it didn’t see the rationale of continuing with the development of ganaxolone for adults patients with focal onset seizures. But the company said that the safety profile of the compound as noted in the late-stage trial and other earlier trials has inspired it to continue with the development of the drug in targeted patient population.

Missed primary endpoint

However, narrowing the patient focus for ganaxolone treatment is only a fallback plan for Marinus after the Phase 3 trial missed the primary endpoint. As such, the narrow patient target means that the potential addressable market of the drug has also been trimmed, thus limiting its revenue potential. That explained why investors in Marinus headed for the exit door immediate the report of the failed late-stage trial reached the market.

After discontinuing the development of ganaxolone in adults afflicted with focal onset seizures, Marinus is shifting attention to pediatric orphan indications and status epilepticus. The company did not update on the sales potential in the new target market for ganaxolone.

Executive disappointment

Although there still remain some rays of hope regarding commercialization of ganaxolone, the management of Marinus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: MRNS) expressed deep disappointment with the failed Phase 3 trial in adults with seizures.

Further update from Marinus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: MRNS)

Marinus promised to provide additional update on the development pathway of ganaxolone in the coming weeks.

Downgrades flowing in

But some analysts on Wall Street are not waiting to hear Marinus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: MRNS)’s additional update on ganaxolone as they believe that the future of the compound has become more uncertain with the already shared data. As such, the analysts at Oppenheimer downgraded their rating on the stock to PERFORM from OUTPERFORM. Analysts at RBC Capital also downgraded the stock to SECTOR PERFORM from OUTPERFORM. But the analysts at Jefferies have maintained their BUY rating on the stock.


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