Company

Bank

Analyst

Coverage

Opinion

Wk chg

11/16 cls

Cepheid Inc. (NASDAQ:CPHD)

Mizuho

Peter Lawson

Upgrade

Buy (from neutral)

4%

$30.53

Lawson maintained his $37 target, saying that a recent "sell-off provides an attractive entry-point" and the "underlying business appears strong." He noted the next significant catalyst is the potential FDA approval of Cepheid's Xpert CT/NG test to detect and differentiate Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae test. He expects approval by year end. Cepheid markets the in vitro molecular diagnostic test in Europe.

Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR)

Brean Capital

Jonathan Aschoff

Price target

Buy

-27%

$5.99

Jefferies

Biren Amin

Downgrade

Hold (from buy)

Aschoff lowered his target to $13 from $20 after Nektar disclosed in its 10-Q for 3Q12 that "FDA is exploring whether there is any evidence of a potential cardiovascular class effect related to opioid withdrawal associated with mu opioid antagonists." This month, Nektar reported positive top-line data from a pair of Phase III trials with naloxegol, its PEGylated formulation of a mu opioid receptor (OPRM1; MOR) antagonist, to treat opioid-induced constipation (OIC) in patients with non-cancer pain. Aschoff believes there is a "good chance" FDA will be satisfied with data from the long-term safety KODIAC-08 trial of naloxegol, which Nektar and partner AstraZeneca plc (LSE:AZN; NYSE:AZN) expect next quarter.