Maxim ups Daré Biosciences PT to $4 from $3

Maxim Group raised its price target for Daré Bioscience (NASDAQ:DARE) to $4 from $3, citing FDA approval of XACIATO vaginal gel as a treatment for bacterial vaginosis (BV) and a commercial launch in 2022. The stock closed at $1.66 on Jan. 17.

The label for XACIATO supports its use as a first-line treatment option for BV, which affects about 21 million women in the U.S., writes analyst Jason McCarthy, Ph.D. 

He said in a pivotal Phase 3 study, a clinical cure rate of 70% was achieved, representing a higher rate than those of currently approved products that range between 37% and 68%. XACIATO’s bioadhesive gel formulation provides extended release of clindamycin at the site of infection. 

“With $45-million in cash at the end of the third quarter of 2021, as well as a $50-million ATM in place, Daré should be positioned to unlock value for investors,” Dr. McCarthy said. 

The BV approval is a demonstration of management’s ability to execute and take a drug to the finish line and “gives us added confidence in the [company’s] women’s health pipeline,” he added. These include Ovaprene, expected to start a Phase 3 trial in 2022; Sildenafil cream, with a Phase 2b study ongoing; HRT1 hormone therapy, having completed a Phase 1; and a Phase 1/2 readout for VVA1 in 2022. 

“With a strong cash position, well-run company, first product approved, the right partner in Bayer for Ovaprene, and a pipeline…there’s a lot to like about Daré in 2022,” Dr. McCarthy said.